Real Assets Adviser

July 1, 2022: Vol. 9, Number 7

$0.00 Add To Cart

From the Current Issue

The trinity of editorial content: For separation of church and state, some things must be sacred

At the start of each production cycle, I find myself staring at the blank canvas. It’s a big canvas. You might have noticed that our 68-page magazine has a huge news hole, with an editorial-to-advertising ratio of roughly 3-1, meaning 75 percent (48 pages) of the magazine’s page count is devoted to news stories and features. You might have noticed each edition is absolutely stuffed with reading material, and beautifully rendered by our exceptionally talented magazine designer, Maria Kozlova.

Q&A: High time for an update on the cannabis business with one of its leading players

It would be hard to exaggerate the excitement many investors felt when cannabis was legalized and its many investment opportunities presented themselves — the growing, the processing, the product production, the retailing, and so on. All that excitement seems to have subsided the past few years, as the many realities surrounding the business appeared to staunch the unbridled growth investors anticipated. But things are not always as they seem. Consider that several cannabis companies are headed toward $1 billion in sales, and there are many reasons for optimism, according to Michael Apstein, principal founding partner at Primary Growth Partners (PGP), and interim CEO of PGP Brands.

Globalization lives: Corporate America is well positioned for a tri-polar world

Globalization isn’t dead, but it is being refined and reconfigured. As Bank of America noted in a recent essay, U.S. multinationals confront a much more challenging environment than in the past, given rising government calls for “reshoring,” economic self-sufficiency and the promotion of national champions. These policy preferences are helping to sculpt a tri-polar world — a world that pivots around North America, Asia and Europe.

Talking Points: Quotations from people in the news

Bruce Schnier, Harvard lecturer: “The claims that the blockchain advocates make are not true. It’s not secure, it’s not decentralized. Any system where you forget your password and you lose your life savings is not a safe system.”

Who really owns the oil industry’s future stranded assets?

When an oil company invests in an expensive new drilling project today, it’s taking a gamble. Even if the new well is a success, future government policies designed to slow climate change could make the project unprofitable or force it to shut down years earlier than planned.

Roundtable: How do your client portfolios differ today compared with 12 or 24 months ago?

Sidney Browning, managing partner and CEO, Integras Partners: "We have always included real assets, primarily in direct real estate, for client goals projected seven to 10 years in the future. In the fall of 2021, the factors of inflation, monetary tightening by The Fed, and overvalued stocks led us to replace 20 percent of most clients’ stock allocations into additional real estate exposure. We did this with a mix of NAV REITs, interval real estate funds, and private placements to provide cash flow, appreciation and flexibility."

Profile: Matt Bass, head of private alternatives at AllianceBernstein

In February 2009 the U.S. economy was deep in the throes of what would come to be known as the global financial crisis. At the time, though, it appeared the onset of a second Great Depression was upon us. It was in the midst of that unfolding calamity that Matt Bass connected with a former colleague who had recently joined the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the federal agency most responsible for extricating the U.S. and global economies from impending economic collapse. A conversation between the two ensued about Bass joining the Treasury. Bass, 10 years into his career at this stage, accepted the challenge and found himself at ground zero of the global financial crisis.

5 Questions: Appetite for alternatives is expanding rapidly

A new report shows demand for alternatives is growing across the board as investors seek to grow their portfolios at a quicker pace than what traditional investments are offering in current market conditions. Linda York is a senior vice president in the Cogent Syndicated division at Escalent, which has been producing its US Institutional Investor Brandscape report for more than 10 years. York leads the wealth management syndicated research and consulting practice at Cogent Syndicated, and has more than 20 years of experience in financial services spanning responsibilities in finance, marketing and business strategy.

How climate change is triggering a green-tech revolution

The future, as advertised in the face of climate change, looks bleak. The world expects, and is already experiencing, more droughts and floods, deadlier fires, bigger storms, more disease, and rising sea levels. Experts tell us as climate disasters grow, it will be difficult to maintain existing infrastructure, whether for subways in New York City, drinking water in Las Vegas, or floodwalls in Miami. Learning to live in a warming world will be difficult and will likely mean the forced restructuring of fundamental aspects of the world economy, including nearly 85 percent of all energy generation, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration independent statistics and analysis, and rebuilding infrastructure to withstand the environment of the future. This future can feel a bit daunting. But, as Albert Einstein is credited with saying, “in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity,” and we see opportunity.

Clouded by drought: Hydropower essential to U.S. electric grid, but its future is questionable

The water in Lake Powell, one of the nation’s largest reservoirs, has fallen so low amid the Western drought that federal officials are resorting to emergency measures to avoid shutting down hydroelectric power at the Glen Canyon Dam. The Arizona dam, which provides electricity to seven states, isn’t the only U.S. hydropower plant in trouble. The iconic Hoover Dam, also on the Colorado River, has reduced its water flow and power production. California shut down a hydropower plant at the Oroville Dam for five months because of low water levels in 2021, and officials have warned the same could happen in 2022.

Shelter from the storm: Investors can consider commodities to shore up portfolios

Can commodities still provide shelter in the storm as both stocks and bonds suffer losses? Yes, although such investments are not for the faint of heart. As we have seen in 2022, both stocks and bonds have lost value as inflation expectations have escalated. The current environment favors building robustness into portfolios, and exposure to commodities — in addition to high quality bonds — could be a part of this, particularly for investors whose finances are more exposed to inflation risk. While rising recession pressures would favor bonds, continued elevated inflation favors commodity futures and natural resources equity allocations. Prospects for commodity-related assets have improved over a three- to five-year holding period, even considering commodities’ recent strong run.

Aging out: The quiet crisis in the financial wealth advisory business

The financial advice industry has a problem that no one seems to want to discuss. Financial advisers are aging out of the industry at an increasing pace, with too few in the pipeline to take their place. There are currently more advisers over 60 years of age than under 30 years and the industry keeps getting older. In fact, after years of flat growth in headcount, the adviser market has begun to contract this year because it’s proven so difficult to bring new talent into the business.

Genomics companies are down but far from out

Genomics companies have been all the rage over the past few years, as technologies such as next-generation sequencing and cancer testing have been capturing investor attention. Lately, these stocks have taken a back seat: The genomics subsector of the HTEC Index has pulled back nearly 60 percent from its highs in February 2021. Much of the sell-off appears more tied to rising interest rates, inflation, supply-chain constraints, and ongoing COVID-related lockdowns in various parts of the world.

Four technologies that will transform the future of real estate

Over the past 30 years of being a real estate developer, I have seen a lot of changes. While technology hasn’t always played a major role in the industry, that has changed significantly over the past few years, especially for consumers. Here are four technologies that will continue to transform how we buy, sell, finance and invest in real estate moving forward.

Rockefeller’s next revolution: Extending clean energy to 1 billion people in Third World countries

There are nearly 3 billion people on the planet who consume less than 1,000 kilowatt hours per year of energy and electricity — one-twelfth of what the average U.S. citizen consumes. But those energy misers are going to consume increasing amounts of energy over time, which naturally leads to this question: Is that energy going to be generated by more coal, or will renewable electrification and new energy technologies be able to reduce air pollution and mitigate climate change?

Silver linings: Industrial demand is up 9% to post record high

The global silver market realized growth in every demand category in 2021, marking the first time all key sectors rose in tandem since 1997. Surpassing pre-pandemic volumes, total global silver demand achieved its highest level since 2015, surging 19 percent to 1.05 billion ounces during 2021. Leading the way was an all-time high for silver’s use in industrial applications, rising 9 percent to 508.2 million ounces.

Forgot your username or password?