Real Assets Adviser

October 1, 2022: Vol. 9, Number 9

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From the Current Issue

Profile: William Spitz, co-founder and principal of Diversified Trust

It was around the year 2000, with his career going well and some national stature to his credit, that William Spitz decided to enhance his image by going to the London haberdasher Turnbull & Asser (which, among other things, features a James Bond Collection of attire). He purchased four custom-made suits as well as some dress shirts and ties from the clothing retailer.

Consider what metaverse history reveals about virtual real estate

Nattie’s metaverse romance began with anonymous texting. At first “C” would admit only to living in a nearby town. Nattie eventually learned “Clem” was a man with a solitary office job like hers. For Nattie “lived, as it were, in two worlds” — the world of office tedium and an online world where “she did not lack social intercourse.”

A little art could go a long way: Because of artwork’s correlation profile, its benefits for investors can be significant

Art exhibited little to no correlation with any other major asset class from 1997 through 2021, making it a potentially attractive diversifier. Consistently low correlation across asset classes appears a characteristic unique to art. Correlations are close to zero across the board compared with other asset classes, potentially implying that art may help to diversify a portfolio no matter what might already be in it. In contrast, other asset classes have proven to be a mixed bag in terms of their correlation benefits — having low correlations to some asset classes, but higher correlations to others.

Next U.S. energy boom could be wind power in the Gulf of Mexico

With passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which contains $370 billion for climate and energy programs, policy experts are forecasting a big expansion in clean electricity generation. One source that’s poised for growth is offshore wind power. Today the United States has just two operating offshore wind farms, off of Rhode Island and North Carolina, with a combined generating capacity of 42 megawatts. For comparison, the new Traverse Wind Energy Center in Oklahoma has 356 turbines and a 998-megawatt generating capacity. But many more projects are in development, mostly along the Atlantic coast.

Preparing for the electric future of parking: Putting EVs in their place

Parking plays an important role in any new development, and it continues to be a vital asset for the life of that development once it’s completed. But parking can be challenging to manage and should never be treated as an afterthought. Poorly designed or managed parking can pose safety and security issues, can affect tenant satisfaction, and can be costly to maintain. These are issues that developers, owners and investors have wrestled with for years.

Power at the pump: The world’s largest oil-producing nations

The world is in the middle of the first energy crisis of the 21st century. High energy prices, especially for oil, gas and coal, are driving decades-high inflation in various countries, some of which are also experiencing energy shortages. Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated the crisis, given that the country is both a major producer and exporter of oil and natural gas.

Getting precise with irrigation: Using wireless technologies to save water

Around the world, agriculture accounts for 70 percent of all freshwater use. I study computers and information technology in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, where we tackle sustainability and environmental challenges with interdisciplinary research into the agriculture internet of things (ag-IoT).

The economy and immigration: Measuring the U.S. vis-a-vis the world

There are many barometers that can be used to measure the overall health of the United States. Two of the most important ones boil down to this set of questions: 1) Is there any country in the world that wouldn’t trade our economy for theirs? 2) Are millions of people around the world still pining to become Americans?

Niche investment opportunity abounds in RV/boat storage segment

The RV/boat storage sector has all the makings of an emerging niche asset class: elevated demand fueled by demographic and social trends, strong potential for income growth, and a dearth of institutional capital that creates an opportunity to exploit for deep-pocketed investors. RV/boat storage is viewed as a subsector of the self-storage segment, as many vehicle storage facilities are situated in properties that also contain traditional storage. But the RV/boat storage market has unique demand drivers that may enable it to eventually break out on its own.

5 Questions: Time for defensive real estate investing

With the many economic forces at play, investors are thinking more deeply about reconfiguring their real estate portfolios in a more defensive posture. One of the proponents of such measures is Todd Henderson, head of real estate, Americas, DWS.

Why invest in resources during a recession

Over the past few months we have spent a lot of time traveling throughout North America and Europe, speaking with clients about what role natural resources investments should play in their portfolios. At these meetings, we learned first-hand what our investors worry about the most. Recession fears loom large. Investors firmly believe inflation has gone from transitory to intractable in a few short months — something we have been predicting since 2019.

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