Real Assets Adviser

January 1, 2017; Vol. 4, Number 1

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From the Current Issue

The Best Real-Asset Investment Ideas for 2017: Investment professionals offer some of their insights about how to make the New Year a profitable one

It is that time of year when financial managers, advisers and investors recalibrate their strategies. It is not as though these professionals are not reevaluating on a day-to-day and week-to-week basis, but there is something about the New Year that refocuses the mind on a fresh 12-month calendar. It is one of those essential timeframes that requires a new plan.

That being the case, we asked a plethora of investment professionals to share with us a brief synopsis of their top real-asset investment ideas or strategy for 2017. Here is a compilation of their thoughts on the subject.

Infrastructure for the Individual Investor: Current options are limited, but they are increasing as managers find ways to place illiquid assets into liquid funds

Private investors have populated their investment portfolios with stocks and bonds since the time that private investment began. These are asset classes investors understand, and they are easily accessed. But in today’s investment climate, concentrating on just two asset classes might not diversify a portfolio enough to withstand future economic shocks. Hence, alternatives, such as real assets, are attracting greater attention from investors and advisers alike. 

Standard Asset Classes: What U.S. plan sponsors can learn from Australia

2016 marks the 10-year anniversary of the Pension Protection Act, landmark legislation that allowed auto enrollment and the use of target-date or risk-based funds as default investments in DC (defined contribution) plans. As we look to the future of DC plans in America, it is helpful to consider the world’s most established DC system — Australia’s.

Missing the Bullseye: Global investors are still failing to hit allocation targets

The fourth annual Institutional Real Estate Allocations Monitor, from Hodes Weill & Associates and Cornell University’s Baker Program in Real Estate, shows investors around the world are continuing to raise their target allocations to real estate and are on track to break the 10 percent barrier next year, but at the same time they are still significantly under-invested against their targets. The extent of the under-investment varies by region.

The Commodity Revival: It will be a bumpy ride, but commodity prices are poised to rise as oversupply is resolved

What a difference a year makes. January 2016, the Bloomberg Commodity Index (BCOM) was at a 14-year low and most investors had dismissed the asset class over concerns of massive oversupply conditions, the China slowdown and looming deflation risks in Europe and Japan. But as commodities rallied, investors have started to dip back in. China’s economy and commodity consumption seem to be stabilizing, inflation is back on the radar (especially since the election), and — most importantly — the supply-demand commodity imbalance is improving across a broad swath of the market. 

All in the Family: Why family offices are moving toward direct investing and away from funds

Ten months ago our family office made a decision to become part of the family office community. During that time I have had the chance to attend nine different conferences put on by seven different conference organizers and had the chance to meet close to 300 families. By going through this process I have learned a number of things, the most important — and it makes 100 percent sense to me — being that there is a major family office trend toward direct investing in lieu of investing in funds.

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