Real Assets Adviser

November 1, 2021: Vol. 8, Number 10

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From the Current Issue

What successful alternative product sponsors have in common

During my tenure conducting operational due diligence on more than 150 alternative investment sponsors — some of whom succeeded and ultimately helped meet the needs of broker/dealers, RIAs and their clients in the private wealth space — there were certain best practices that repeated themselves and proved the dividing line between the true professionals and those without staying power.

It’s time for advisers to add direct real estate ownership to client portfolios

It’s time to put to rest the myth that direct investment in real estate is only for large institutional investors. Investing in commercial real estate can bring additional challenges and risks, but they are not insurmountable. The benefits can far outweigh the risk and effort to overcome those challenges — as any multi-generational commercial property owner will tell you.

Hitting home runs with sports venues

There’s something magical that happens to a city with a resident sports team. No matter if it’s a farm-league baseball team or a top-rated NFL team, there’s a power there that brings people of all walks of life together under one banner. They cheer together in the stadium; they gather in the parking lot; they have dinner in nearby restaurants; they check out abutting retail shops.

A better deal for art: The $1.7 trillion asset class needs securitization

Art has a long history as a transactable asset, with marketplaces and auction houses such as Sotheby’s having existed for more than 275 years. Art has proven to be valuable financially as well, with works at the high-end of the market being worth 10s of millions of dollars. Until recently, however, art’s ability to appreciate was understood principally through anecdotes of the ultra-wealthy. The lack of quantitative research around the financial profile of art as an asset has prevented the broader investment community from participating in the asset class. However, with improvements in technology and growing interest from investors in allocating to alternative investments, the financial profile of art is becoming better understood and increasingly available via securitization of the asset class.

On the road again: Delta variant may slow pace of travel, but hotel CEOs remain optimistic

The pent-up demand from U.S. travelers, as well as the easing of travel and other restrictions, has allowed for renewed interest in travel and tourism, with families embarking on long-delayed trips, and businesses scheduling in-person meetings again. The U.S. hotel industry’s occupancy levels in June were the highest recorded since October 2019, reaching 66.1 percent, according to data from research firm STR.

Profile: Anne Valentine Andrews, global head of real assets at BlackRock

Early in life, Anne Valentine Andrews understood the power of saving, investing and compound interest. While studying, she held various jobs as a tutor, babysitter, waitress and in retail sales to save money. She began investing in the stock market during her early 20s. With the benefit of hindsight, she wishes she had done more investing during those early years.

Only in America: Why condos caught on in the United States

The tragic collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Fla., on June 24 made millions of Americans focus for the first time on the risks of high-rise construction and oceanfront living. Many also became more aware of the pitfalls of condominiums and other forms of co-ownership in which each unit in a multifamily building or other kind of housing complex is individually owned, while the structure itself is owned, and managed, collectively.

We have ignition: Q&A with classic car collector Larry Taylor

Imagine an investment whose value has risen 30 percent during the past 10 years, is timeless, and more stable than virtually any other asset class. Add to that an asset that you can actually use and is more fun than just about anything you can legally do. For many, though, collecting classic cars isn’t just about the money, according to Motorious, a site for collectors, restorers, industry experts and the all-around car-obsessed.

The gene-editing revolution in farming and food

When looking for an investment with a demand profile underpinned by inelastic necessity, you can’t get much more necessary than food. As long as the world’s population keeps growing — and the UN Population Division expects the world population, which was at 7.8 billion as of 2020, to swell to 10.9 billion by 2100 — the demand for food will keep growing.

Debunking common myths about Bitcoin

More than 12 years after its creation, Bitcoin is struggling to gain widespread institutional acceptance. While constructive criticism is healthy, some influential financial research institutions are dismissing Bitcoin based on stale information, incoherent arguments and flawed analysis.

Alternatives to traditional alternative investments

The phrase “alternative investments” is typically used to describe any unconventional investment that is not considered a stock, bond or cash. This very broad definition has led to a wide variety of asset types ranging from publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) to private rare wine collections all being lumped together in one catch-all category. For most investors, alternative assets include private REITs and business development companies (BDCs), but there are alternatives to these traditional alternatives that can offer significantly more diversification benefits.

5 Questions: Time for office investors, operators to get creative

There has been much speculation whether office real estate will ever fully recover after getting slammed with record high vacancy rates during 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A report from JLL found an unprecedented occupancy decline of 84 million square feet, with 40 million square feet vacated in the fourth quarter alone.

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