Simon Bonouvrie, portfolio manager of Platypus Asset Management, an Bill Bovingdon, chief investment officer of Altius Asset Management, are wary of volatile stock and bond markets.

“Markets are reacting day to day off macroeconomic headlines,” says Bonouvrie, whose firm manages $1 billion in Australian stocks. “It’s prudent to run a defensive portfolio.”

Bonouvrie likes Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd., National Australia Bank Ltd., Rio Tinto Group, BHP Billiton Ltd., Newcrest Mining Ltd. and Regis Resources Ltd.

Bovingdon, whose $150-million fixed income fund will soon double, likes cash, 10-year Australian government bonds, semi-government bonds, corporate bonds and mortgages.

“The Australian bond curve is so far below cash that it’s hard to get excited by it,” he says.

Mark Pitt, general manager of property, mortgages and capital markets at Australian Unity, likes the office property market in Sydney and Melbourne.

“There is less volatility in commercial property values,” says Pitt, who helps manage $1.9 billion in direct property investments and $700 million in mortgages.