Real Assets Adviser

December 1, 2021: Vol. 8, Number 11

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From the Current Issue

5 Questions: Demand for alts driving growth of interval funds

Interval funds have been the talk of the private wealth business for several years, as retail investors seek to access alternative asset classes to diversify their portfolios. Among the private wealth professionals who have devoted a lot of their attention to interval funds and the role they play for the individual investor is Kimberly Flynn, managing director of alternative investments at XA Investments.

Forecast 2022: The economic and investment outlook

For the past 15 years or so, nearly every discussion on investing contained the phrase, “in a low-interest-rate environment.” Many business writers probably have that phrase programed into a shortcut button on their keyboard. As with everything COVID, things seemed to have changed overnight. Now, every commentator and analyst is talking about inflation. Are we in an inflationary era? If so, how high will it go? Is it transitory or should we reprogram those “low-interest-rate environment” keys to “rising inflation” keys? And what should investors be doing to take advantage of — or at least protect themselves from — rising prices that reduce returns?

New power players: Some early successes by small modular reactors

Over the past several months, progress has been reported with so-called small modular reactors (SMRs). Many energy analysts believe SMRs represent the future of nuclear power given they are smaller and more manageable with lower capital requirements. On June 2, TerraPower and PacifiCorp announced plans to advance their SMR project in Wyoming. The project is notable because of its backers: TerraPower was founded by Bill Gates, and PacificCorp is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. The project will consist of a 345-megawatt reactor joined with a molten-salt-based energy storage system providing peak output of 500 megawatts. It is expected to cost $1 billion.

The pursuit of ‘green steel’: The alloy accounts for 7% of global greenhouse gas emissions

Steel is a major building block of our modern world, used to make everything from cutlery to bridges and wind turbines. But the way it’s made – using coal – is making climate change worse. On average, almost two tons of carbon dioxide (CO₂) are emitted for every ton of steel produced. This accounts for about 7 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Cleaning up steel production is clearly key to Earth’s low-carbon future.

The promise of hydrogen: It’s the fuel oil execs and environmentalists could both support

Tehran, 1943: Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill agree on the two-front attack on Hitler while sketching out the east-west division of Europe. Holding the meeting in Iran was no mistake. Gulf oil was a critical resource to the Allied war effort. Oil has flowed under the surface of political conflicts ever since. Fast-forward to today, and political antagonists and energy players are again forging a messy path forward, this time focused on long-term energy transitions as disparate countries try to slow and eventually stop climate change.

Are cryptocurrencies the new dot-com bubble?

The word “bubble” is thrown around a lot these days. Is Tesla a bubble? Is residential real estate a bubble? Are cryptocurrencies a bubble? Let’s travel back in time over 20 years and examine the dot-com bubble and investigate the parallel to today’s cryptocurrency market. The Nasdaq composite index rose by more than 570 percent from January 1995 to March 2000, before falling over 75 percent from that peak level by October 2002. During this meteoric rise, over 2,000 IPOs were floated.

What history teaches about infrastructure spending

Over the past two centuries, federal, state and municipal governments across the United States have launched wave after wave of infrastructure projects. They built canals to move freight in the 1830s and 1840s. Governments subsidized railroads in the mid- and late 19th century. They created local sewage and water systems in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and then dams and irrigation systems through much of the 20th century. During World War II, massive amounts of public money were spent building and expanding ports, factories, airfields and shipyards. And after the war, highway construction — long a state and local project — became a federal endeavor.

Manufactured home values hit record levels

The unprecedented surge of investment volume in the housing sector is pushing valuations for manufactured housing communities (MHCs) to an all-time average high of $46,970 per pad in the second quarter of 2021. Early third-quarter transaction volume is indicating the highest trailing four-quarter investment volume ever recorded at $4.5 billion, which will continue to have a positive effect on valuations.

Profile: Andrew Salesky, managing director of Digital Advisor Solutions at Charles Schwab

One might have predicted early in Andrew Salesky’s life that the young man was destined to make a professional home in some branch of financial services. As though modeling the kind of financial thrift financial advisers would probably like to see from more of their clients, Salesky was an avid saver from age five, which is when he opened his first bank account — before he was old enough to sign for it. His eldest brother co-signed so the account could be opened.

Record-shattering demand for industrial real estate

Despite the unpredictable twists and turns of 2021 that complicated our anticipated return to “normal,” the U.S. industrial real estate market has flourished. Particularly as the end of year nears, the dangers of the Delta variant appear to be in steady decline, further supporting economic forces that have powered the industrial market throughout the pandemic. In fact, the sector is realizing its greatest performance yet: during the third quarter, an all-time high of 133.8 million square feet was absorbed nationally, driven primarily by third-party logistics and distribution occupiers.

Going the last mile: Q&A with the CEO of Dalfen Industrial

With the vast expansion of ecommerce and efforts by online retailers to offer convenience and immediate gratification to their clients, same day or next day deliveries have become critical in competing with traditional retailers. Traditional retailers, meanwhile, have joined the fray, with same-day or next-day pickups at their brick-and-mortar locations.

Conditions are ripe for a lending boom

Low interest rates, increasing transaction volume and pent-up demand for short-term debt on transitional properties have contributed to a surge in mortgage origination in 2021.

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