- January 1, 2021: Vol. 14, Number 1

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Learning to surf: COVID-19’s second wave is putting investors to the test

by Joel Kranc

The expression says, “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” Institutional investors are doing just that as they adjust investments for a second wave of the pandemic.

Let’s go back in time. Back to 2019, when the word “pandemic” was not a commonly used word and the North American (and world) economic engine was running on all cylinders. Within the infrastructure space, for example, closed-end infrastructure funds reached an annual total of $5 billion as far back as 2004. By 2019, that number was closer to $100 billion, according to Probitas Partners.

But as the COVID-19 virus came into focus early in 2020, the world economy saw a significant slowdown due to lockdowns, contraction of many industries and the general fear of investors unsure of what was to come next. The lessons of the 2008–2009 global financial crisis, however, helped institutional investors discipline themselves, which allowed them to take better precautions than they had in

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