Real Assets Adviser

October 1, 2019: Vol. 6, Number 9

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From the Current Issue

How to feed 10 billion people: Innovations in vertical farming

With global population set to exceed 10 billion people by 2050, the challenge of providing enough food for everyone in a sustainable, efficient and economical way is rising in significance. Shedding the restrictions of seasonal weather patterns, overcoming transportation challenges and significantly enhancing yields, the growing trend of vertical farming could herald the future of food production.

A record year of investment: Private infrastructure investors shift to riskier strategies

Investor sentiment for infrastructure equity is at record highs. This appetite from infrastructure investors is reflected in the $89.5 billion of funds raised in 2018, exceeding the previous fundraising record of $73.4 billion set in 2017. Transaction volumes in 2018 were slightly lower than 2017 with energy continuing to be the largest subsector. However, there was a notable increase in telecommunication transactions from 5 percent in 2017 to 35 percent in 2018.

Sun and wind at its back: Clean energy investment during decade reaches into the trillions

Investment in new renewable energy is on track to hit $2.6 trillion this decade (2010-2019), according to a study by BloombergNEF, conducted on behalf of the United Nations Environment Program and Frankfurt School’s UNEP Center. The investment boom has been driven in part by the falling costs of wind and solar power plants, which have now become affordable new markets, and at prices rivaling fossil fuels.

Using data to uncover the best opportunity zones have to offer

Investors focused on making solid returns on opportunity zones have a number of factors to consider when examining qualified properties. There is more going on here than what meets the eye, even when it comes to official government designation reports. When evaluating the census data used to help determine areas that qualified as opportunity zones, one discovers several nuances which, if properly considered, could translate into significant advantages for investors.

Angel investing has caught fire with affluent individuals and families

David Rose is third-generation angel investor — a rare breed in the high-risk-high-reward business of underwriting startup and early-stage companies. Lately, he has seen a lot more interest in his once-esoteric line of work. “Angel investing has gone mainstream,” says Rose, author of Angel Investing: The Gust Guide to Making Money & Having Fun Investing in Startups and CEO of Gust, an internet platform that connects accredited investors with early-stage companies. During 2018 alone, the number of active angel investors grew by 16 percent over the prior year to nearly 335,000, and the number of ventures that received angel funding climbed by more than 7 percent to 66,110, according to the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire.

5 Questions: Why rich pro athletes so often go broke

Think professional athletes with their fat contracts have it made? Think again. Not all are paid that lavishly, and even those who do earn millions per season face short careers and many demands on their incomes. What is a financial adviser to do? David Johan and Travis Higgins, managing partners at Altruist Advisors, have a clientele that includes several professional athletes. So what is their gameplan?

Less taxing situations: New products and structures providing investors with the tax optimization strategies

Change seems to be the only constant in the world of tax and estate planning. In recent months, those changes have begun to benefit increasingly high-net-worth and large investors. Indeed, it appears as though long-awaited tax relief might at last be at hand. When advisers work with clients, they develop a thorough understanding of their investment objectives and tax circumstances. What follows are a few areas in which advisers have been particularly active of late with their high-net-worth and family office clients. It is always important, of course, that advisers coordinate with the work of clients’ tax and legal advisers to ensure investment strategies are appropriate for each individual client.

Green wave: AUM among top 10 real estate managers swells to $1.2t

It was only a short 10 years ago that institutional real estate investors and managers were sorting through the wreckage caused by the global financial crisis. Fund managers were dealing with redemptions, properties were being repriced — in some cases, portfolio values declined 40 to 50 percent — and investors were tightening their purse strings as they focused on managing existing assets rather than making new deals. In short, things were pretty bleak.

For richer or poorer: A profile of Clare Golla, Bernstein Private Wealth

Clare Golla was employed at a community development bank on the brink of closure when Bernstein Private Wealth Management contacted her about joining the firm. Based on prior conversations with wealth management firms, Golla had little interest, but she grudgingly agreed to a meeting. She was surprised to find she immediately clicked with the organization’s people and mission.

Notes and trends: Professional athletes and angel investors

How can professional athletes — so dexterous with hands and feet in their manipulation of baseballs, basketballs, footballs and other sporting objects and objectives — be so ham-fisted with money? Professional athletes going broke is an old and continuing story, which begs the question: Why do rich pro athletes so often go bust? David Johan of Altruist Advisors counts several professional athletes among his clientele and takes measures to help ensure they do not run into foul territory and ill-fated financial endings. That requires a gameplan, argues Johan, who also serves as an editorial advisory board member for this magazine. He discusses the matter on this month’s 5 Questions feature.

Investing in a ‘comeback city’

In 2012, television viewers watching Super Bowl XLVI heard Clint Eastwood’s gravelly voice extol the toughness and resilience of the City of Detroit. Toward the end of the Halftime in America commercial for Chrysler, the actor declares, “Our second half is about to begin,” capturing both the sense that things were turning around and the promise of good things to come.

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