NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Investors seeking rewards during the second half this year can explore investing in preferred stock, global equities and currencies.
"We suggest investing in equities to generate growth for your portfolio not for stability or income that much," said Krishna Memani, chief investment officer with OppenheimerFunds. "So if you focus on equities for growth, invest in growth sectors like technology and biotechnology because their valuations are reasonable."
Krishna spoke at Fidelity’s mid-year outlook on a panel of investment experts that included Lori Heinel, chief portfolio strategist with State Street Global Advisors.
"Having a diversified global equity portfolio is critical as is generating income from your portfolio for which investors need bonds issued by companies whether they are high yield, investment-grade sectors, municipal bonds, preferred or loans," Memani said.
But re-investment returns have gotten paltry in the past five years as yields have hovered low, according to Robert A. DiMella, co-portfolio manager with MainStay Investments Muni Bond Funds.
“We're in a relatively low interest rate environment, but that's not all bonds so you have to drill down into the bond market and look for better solutions,” said DiMella, who was also on the panel.
“Income is a huge generator of long term returns. You need to find where those solutions are," DiMella said.
Those invested in currencies internationally saw a 17% return at the end of March compared with -7% for those who were exclusively invested in the U.S. dollar.
"China is desperately trying to improve their economy," Heinel said.
"They are opening their equity markets," she said. "We don’t think our clients can ignore China."
Other than the dollar, top currencies include the euro, pound and yen. The United States is still dominant with 62% of the global reserves in the dollar and 25% in the euro.
“I like preferred stock as well because they lie between equities and bonds," Memani said.
Preferred stock entitles its holder to a fixed dividend whose payment takes priority over that of common-stock dividends.
"They are a mixed asset class because their issuance is narrowly focus by financials," Memani said. "The credit risk associated with financials is lower."
One way to invest in preferred stocks is through master limited partnerships, which also invest in energy, technology, senior loans, biotechnology stocks and financials, such as real estate investment trusts and banks.
"Companies that invest in pipelines through which oil is pumped but not impacted by cost of energy can generate a decent amount of income," Memani said.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor.