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- December 1, 2015: Vol. 9, Number 11

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Assessing the alternatives: High-yield investments – a smart move or a risky business?

by Michael Haddock

An almost universal complaint that comes from investors in Europe at the moment is the difficulty that they have in sourcing investment product. In the very next breath they will also be complaining about the low yield on core investments. A possible response to both these issues is the move up the risk curve to higher-yielding property.

In fact, real estate investors have been behind those in other asset classes in moving up the risk curve. In the bond market, for instance, the spread between AAA and BBB corporate bonds fell sharply in 2012–2013, while at the same time the real estate market saw the spread between prime and secondary continue to increase. Risk pricing in real estate has spent much of 2014–2015 catching up with these movements in the bond market and, although the risk spread in bonds is close to its pre-crisis level, that in real estate is still a long way from that level.

A feature of the real estate sector is the lack of a clear definition of wha

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