- January 1, 2016: Vol. 3, Number 1

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2015 Review: It was a forgettable year for those investing in real assets

by Sheila Hopkins

Real assets is a diversified asset class covering everything from real estate and infrastructure to commodities and precious metals. With such a big tent, it would seem logical to assume that performance would be just as diversified, with some sectors up, some down. Unfortunately, looking back at 2015, nearly all sectors have underperformed, with diversity being measured in terms of just how badly each sector underperformed. Listed real assets, in particular, have struggled.

The underperformance of listed real assets — generally defined as domestic and global real estate securities, domestic and global listed infrastructure, commodities, and natural resources equities — has had a major effect on investors’ confidence in the class, not to mention returns in their portfolios.

Basing investment decisions on past performance is always risky, but it is also what most investors do, and real assets have historically delivered returns similar to equities, with added infl

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