Real Assets Adviser

May 1, 2019: Vol. 6, Number 5

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From the Current Issue

Lost in cyberspace: Digital assets are often overlooked by estate plans

The proliferation of the Internet and personal computing over the past 20 years led to the emergence of a third, more abstract class — the digital asset. Moving into the future as pioneers of the digital age, we must become more mindful about what happens to our digital assets when we are gone.

The big opportunity for investors in opportunity zones

Tax reform passed in December 2017 created a huge incentive for real estate investors in low-income areas that are designated as “opportunity zones.” Investors in these areas may defer capital gains taxes and avoid paying taxes on gains if the investment is held for at least 10 years. The legislation has set off a flurry of activity among fund managers, developers and investors that are looking to take advantage of the new rule. While transaction activity has so far been muted as industry players try to understand the ground rules and raise capital in vehicles that will meet the needs of investors and withstand structural scrutiny, one thing is for certain: The opportunity is enormous.

The green wave: Two-thirds of new energy installed in 2018 was renewable

The decade-long trend of strong growth in renewable energy capacity continued in 2018 with global additions of 171 gigawatts, according to new data released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The annual increase of 7.9 percent was bolstered by new additions from solar and wind energy, which accounted for 84 percent of the growth. One-third of global power capacity is now based on renewable energy.

Northwest exposure: A profile of Erinn Ford, CEO of KMS Financial Services

The job market was slim pickings when Erinn Ford received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington back in the early 1990s. Fortunately, her father — who was involved in the formation of the first REIT in the state of Washington, and subsequently founded a broker/dealer — had an opening for a receptionist. When his daughter expressed interest in the job, she was told she would need Series 7 and Series 24 designations to qualify, credentials not listed on the job posting and certainly not required of any receptionist in the broker/dealer business.

Ag sectors to watch in 2019: New technologies offer investment opportunities

Despite the headwinds facing agricultural investing — such as lower crop prices, weak farmland values, and the U.S./China trade conflict — farmland still represents attractive investment opportunities because of advancements in crop inputs and services, the use of robotics in the field, aquaculture, and indoor farming.

Blue light special: Have retail real estate investors found their lane?

How are investors responding to the evolution of retail real estate? Are they moving away from retail properties, in response to recent vacancies and downsizings in many malls and shopping centers? Or are they still finding ways to reap attractive returns, without abandoning the category?

Mutual funds versus ETFs: The pros and cons

ETFs have been grabbing a lot of press recently. But are they a better option than mutual funds? Dana D’Auria, managing director and portfolio manager at Symmetry Partners, weighs in on the topic.

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