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Treasuries must be high risk, right? Add to ...

Risky assets are supposed to be interesting assets. More importantly, they also tend to offer better returns to investors over the longer term. That's the upside to investors for, well, taking on risk.

But Richard Bernstein, chief investment strategist at Merrill Lynch, goes a step further, noting that risky assets are those that investors are supposed to be scared to invest in. The problem here is that risk-free U.S. Treasuries have been the top-performing asset class in the United States this decade, which leads to this zinger:

"This decade, Treasuries would have to be the number one 'risky' asset," Mr. Bernstein said, in a note. "Once again, illustrating that 'risky' assets outperform 'safer' assets (if defined properly), Treasuries have handily outpaced such 'sexier' investments as hedge funds and emerging markets."

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