Publications

- February 1, 2020: Vol. 32, Number 2

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Panic! at the recession: How should investors consider portfolio risk in a late-cycle environment?

by Steve Bergsman

It’s too late to start worrying about a recession. Pension plans, investment advisers, real estate fund managers have all been living with the conclusion that a significant downturn in the real estate world is just two years away. The problem (or solution!) is that everyone has been living under that mantra for at least the last four years. Back in 2016, the downturn was expected to arrive in 2018. A year later, the prognosticators said a recession was supposed to hit in 2019. Last year, pundits were sure property markets would blow-up by 2020. Today, the line on the horizon has been pushed back to 2022.

A couple of issues to consider here among the prognostications: with that lengthy pall of caution, are institutional investors actually ready for that downturn if it arrives tomorrow; and, if one prepares for the downturn by considering portfolio risk, how does one measure that risk when investments are not stocks but property?

There is a lot of convergence to consid

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