Real estate, alternative real assets and other diversions

Latest Article

Beware of long-term value drivers

Property investors have an unfortunate habit of not looking very far ahead The real estate sector has a propensity to underestimate change, perhaps because change has historically been at a rather glacial rate within the industry. In my 30 years in the European real estate markets, it has always surprised me how short-term factors almost exclusively colour investment decisions. While not suggesting the immediate future shouldn’t be a critical element of an asset’s evaluation, I would caution... Read More >

Recent Articles:

Lessons from the fall of a superstar fund manager
I’m sure you will know that well-known fund manager Neil Woodford has recently fallen very much out of favour with investors. Reputedly in the wake of withdrawals by some big investors said to be worried by poor performance, he even suspended Read More >
Investment Management Review – October 2019
There’s a childhood game, whose name changes each generation – currently called Jenga. It starts as a wall of wooden bricks, and successive players remove individual pieces until the loser takes one out, and down falls the edifice. Its drama Read More >
The demise of retail is reshaping the REIT sector
REITs are becoming what they always should have been: low-leveraged balance sheets and long-term income streams with a sustainable, growing dividend Three features stand out for me in the quoted property sector this year. First, the Read More >
Mad for growth
Investors chasing growth stocks creates both danger and opportunities PE premium for UK growth stocks over UK value Stock market manias always start with some grounding in solid fact, before investors get carried away and drive up Read More >
Global capital flows into real estate: transparency is a key to inward investment
Cross-border transactions now account for a third of property deals, and the most transparent markets hold the most appeal Investment in many mature real estate markets is booming and this has been the case for about ten years now. At the Read More >
Still going strong: Singapore REITs
A continuing upward trend makes this a good defensive asset class amid global uncertainty Early this summer the FTSE ST Real Estate Investment Trusts index broke through the 875 level after 10 years of resistance, with a Read More >
How the debt markets have changed since 2014
A five-year review of the real estate debt demand Twenty-nineteen marks five years since Laxfield Capital, a commercial property lending company, released their first report on the demand for debt in the UK property market. Such a report, Read More >
The big four – REIT dangers to watch out for
Common difficulties and how to avoid them Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are a favourite asset class for income seeking investors looking for regular dividends. However, there are a number of difficulties regularly experienced by Read More >
Is the FTSE 100 attractively priced despite its near-record level?
Above-average returns seem likely for the FTSE 100 Over the last 25 years or so, the FTSE 100 has repeatedly zig-zagged between 3500 and 7000, swinging back and forth between bull market and bear market. As I write, the UK large-cap index Read More >
Ruffer Investment Review – July
When the Governor of the Bank of England speaks, it is always worth listening to, and he is on to something when he writes about market liquidity; he is surely right to flag the dangers of the narrow exit doors in a crowded investment room. We Read More >
The end of the UK interest rate cycle
Plus, reassessing the relationship between UK interest rates and REITs The perceived wisdom has always been that reducing, and indeed low, UK interest rates are good for real estate in general. Equally, UK real estate investment trusts Read More >
Can REITs keep up with the current demands of UK shopping centres?
In the face of declining retail property values and highly leveraged companies, a new structure might be needed Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) have been a huge success globally, providing an income-producing, liquid, tax-efficient Read More >
The multifaceted problem of wealth transfer
Politics, emigration and the modern family are only a few of the challenges of wealth and succession planning today There is no lack of data on the vast, and growing, amounts of wealth set to be passed from generation to generation in the Read More >
The Green Line: A 21st century fairy tale
The percentage of unprofitable companies listing on public markets has never been higher. Percentage of US IPOs which are loss-making This is the year of the tech unicorn IPO. So far we have had Uber, Lyft, Beyond Meat and Pinterest; Read More >
Is Sainsbury’s worth its heavily discounted share price?
Poor old Sainsbury’s. Its share price is currently lower than at any time over the last 25 years and appears to be in free-fall. But how can this be? Surely Sainsbury’s is a defensive dividend payer with a long record of unbroken dividend Read More >
China’s Winning the War that the U.S. is Ignoring
Have you been to The Bahamas? I was just in beautiful Nassau. And there’s no description for those waters other than 'exquisite.' In fact, it's hard to take your eyes off of the stunning array of blues and greens, while you breathe in Read More >
2 Preferred Possibilities That Might Be Worth a Look
As you might very well know, real estate investment trusts, also known as REITs, are legally required to pay out no less than 90% of their taxable income. That’s how they’re structured to operate in the U.S., and they’re not allowed to Read More >
Taking Weyerhaeuser to the Woodshed
By Brad Thomas and Michael Boyd Sometimes, you’ve got to switch it up to keep your portfolio properly diversified. That’s why this isn’t the first time we’ve sung the praises of buying into alternative asset classes. When people Read More >
Heads you win… tails you win?
UK long dated index-linked bond price Image Source: Ruffer LLP and Bloomberg (UK 2055 index-linked bond) We live in extraordinary times, and looking at recent political developments, both here and abroad, there is a risk that they Read More >
Betting on Retail
A version of this article first appeared in the May 2019 edition of the Forbes Real Estate Investor. Every May for the past 20 years, I’ve made a pilgrimage up to Las Vegas. I call it a pilgrimage because it’s a long flight with Read More >
The 2018 stock market correction and the art of being patient
For most investors 2018 was a year to forget and from peak to trough, the FTSE All-Share index lost about 16% of its starting value. For many this was too much to take and several subscribers informed me of their decision to exit the stock Read More >
Consilia Capital Real Assets Monitor – Quarterly Performance Review
The report is divided into the following sections: 1)       A summary of  Fund  performance  The table below shows the average March 2019, Q1 2019 and 5 year returns for the mandates in our Read More >
Learn from my mistakes and avoid these three value traps
Most investors found 2018 to be a bumpy ride and I was no exception. The market price of my portfolio declined by more than 10% during the year, which was mildly annoying. But that’s not really what I’m talking about. When I talk about Read More >
Rightmove’s shares could be good value if you don’t care about dividends
Rightmove is an incredible business. In the 11 years since it listed on the stock exchange its: Revenues have gone up by more than 370%, going from £57 million to £268 millionEarnings have gone up by more than 1100%, going from 1.4p per Read More >
Technical Analysis of FTSE ST REIT Index (FSTAS8670) The FTSE ST Real Estate Investment Trusts (FTSE ST REITs Index) continued its bullish rally, raising from 832.03 to 842.91 (+1.31%) as compared to my last post on Singapore REIT Read More >
April 2019
‘Timing is everything’ runs the investment cliché – actually it’s not: being right is better. In any event, spare a thought for the writer of this investment review who has been told that it must be in final form by 27 March. Of all Read More >
Property’s broken crystal ball
Real estate share prices have been implicitly forecasting property declines that are yet to materialise – what’s going on? The most noticeable impact of the EU referendum in June 2016 upon the UK real estate sector has been the sharp Read More >
BAE Systems’ dividend yield is high, but is it good value?
BAE Systems is an obvious choice for dividend investors.That's because:  (1) BAE Systems is the UK's largest defence manufacturer which should make it a relatively defensive company (governments may cut defence spending during Read More >
Safe as houses?
Over almost 30 years UK house price gains have outperformed the best of British businesses. What next? Index performance rebased to 100 in January 1990 % What’s your biggest financial asset? For most Britons, it’s their Read More >
Why I am buying sterling, selling euros
I might look very silly by the end of the month but there will not be a no deal Brexit. Neither side can afford this outcome. Sadly my crystal ball doesn’t run to how soft the Brexit will be, but what we do know is that a process of Read More >
The FTSE ST Real Estate Investment Trusts (FTSE ST REITs Index) continued its bullish rally, raising from 832.03 to 842.91 (+1.31%) as compared to my last post on Singapore REIT Fundamental Comparison Table on Feb Read More >
March Madness: REIT Bracketology Begins
Excerpts of this article appeared in the March 2019 edition of the Forbes Real Estate Investor. March is one of my favorite months in the year, especially because that’s when the biggest college basketball tournament takes place, and Read More >
REITs & Recessions – A Historical Reminder
As readers know, I’ve shown time and again how REITs are a great source of generous, safe, and growing income over time, and a favorite among high-yield investors – a group that includes those with low-risk tolerances such as retirees Read More >
The Green Line – February 2019
Once a month we will bring you an interesting chart with a short commentary. Our aim is to illuminate the corners of financial markets. TINA turning? Rising returns on cash may cause investors to withdraw from riskier assets such as Read More >
REIT VIEW: EUROPEAN REITS OUTLOOK A closer look at REITs in the European continent
Having completed another satisfying, successful year as a U.S.-based REIT analyst, I found myself again curious and wanting a closer look at REITs in the European continent – which is geographically slightly larger than the U.S., but sports a Read More >
Ruffer Investment Review The purpose of this review is to present a balance between the acknowledgement that we have let people down in 2018, and to state that we are fully prepared for the battles ahead – which we are.
“I thought you chaps at Ruffer said that you’d never lose money for me – what’s gone wrong?” The weakness in markets reflects the passing of an inflexion point of mood: from a sensation that we’ve been living through extremely Read More >
Triple B or not triple B? That is the question… Growing risks in corporate debt markets spell big trouble – and big opportunities
For income-hungry investors that have hoovered-up corporate debt in recent years, this really matters. Call me nostalgic, but investment grade (IG) credit just isn’t what it used to be. Theoretically, IG bonds and borrowers are highly Read More >
Consilia Capital Real Assets Monitor Annual Performance for 2018
The report is divided into the following sections: 1)       A summary of 2018  performance  The table below, shows the average 2018 performance per mandate, and is ranked by 2018 returns with 2017 and 2016 figures for comparison.  Read More >
2019 STRATEGIES: WINNING WITH REITs & INFRASTRUCTURE Investors would be wise to recognize REITs’ valuable and defensive nature
As we ended 2018, I noticed a quite compelling place that REITs serve in a well-balanced diversified portfolio. While Real Estate Investment Trusts (commonly referred to as REITs) tend to get attention due to their yields, investors would be wise Read More >
President Trump’s EO is yet another boost for the US economy Brad Thomas' view on the investment initiative designed to create new “opportunity zones”
The American economy is booming thanks to President Trump’s pro-growth policies, and now the President can set his sights on ensuring that prosperity reaches every nook and cranny of the country. In a move designed to help underperforming Read More >
Singapore REITs #6 The market update for December
FTSE ST Real Estate Investment Trusts (FTSE ST REIT Index) has increased from 767.98  to 783.05 (+1.96%) compared to my last post on Singapore REIT Fundamental Comparison Table on 5 November 2018. Currently the index is trading in a Read More >
What The Trade War Means For REIT Investors A look at what could happen to REITs should current negotiations fail and the trade war escalate well into 2019
The U.S. hasn’t seen a large and protracted trade war since the early 1930s, which coincided with the Great Depression. With the U.S./China trade war escalating through most of 2018 it has been a confusing and scary time for all investors. Read More >
Peering REIT into the Future A look at five technology REIT favourites and where they could be heading
Last week, in these pages, I talked about what I’ve discovered over several decades in Real Estate. Not only these days as a U.S.-based writer, covering Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), but also in my time as a developer, investor, and Read More >
Singapore REITs #5 The market update for November
The Singapore REIT sector has broken down from a consolidation pattern and starts a down trend. Let’s look at the technical analysis and fundamental analysis for the Singapore REIT sector in this month’s update. Technical Analysis of FTSE Read More >
Lessons From A Battle-Tested REIT Analyst Reflections on the dark days of the financial crisis
In 2009, prior to becoming a REIT analyst, I was a real estate developer. This means that I was working in the trenches trying to develop sites for companies like CVS, Dollar General and Advance Auto Parts. It wasn’t easy to grasp the impact of Read More >
Demand For Data Fuelling Communications-Based REITs Where automated-driving technology might be taking us
Recently I was reading an article by LBX Investments explaining that “autonomous vehicles are expected to eventually have a transformative impact on our economy, our society, and numerous industries, including commercial real estate and by Read More >
REIT Investing Around The Globe A look at British Land Company, one of UK’s oldest property groups
In a recent interview with NAREIT Scott Crowe said that “year-to-date the global real estate market has been relatively flat; however Europe has been relatively strong”. He explained that “in Europe, for the moment at least, the European Read More >
12 of the Greatest Moat-Worthy REITs An analysis of what gives some REITs a competitive advantage
For today’s look into REITs, we’ll uncover the meaning and benefit of a “moat” surrounding a given investment. I’ll also offer my list of the 12 most “moat-worthy” REITs. Let’s start upstream. In a Harvard Review article, Read More >
A REIT way to invest Competitive advantage in the REIT market
As a committed, passionate, and experienced REIT analyst, part of my steadfast research includes observing principles I can rely on time after time, to deliver alpha and deliver results - and then, share my findings. That’s part of why I Read More >
Retire Rich With These 5 Highly Predictable REITs Picking attractive dividend-paying stocks on sale
Retirement satisfaction is positively correlated with income, net worth, health, and stable income streams. Reports state that investors, who record the lowest levels of worry, don’t have the highest income prior to retirement. However, Read More >
Understanding REITs: The DAVOS Way DAVOS as an acronym helps me narrow down the world of REITs into an index, to make a point.
Just over a thousand kilometers southeast of London sit the mountainous, chilled vistas of Davos, Switzerland. And while I’ve never skied there, I’ve enjoyed invitations to the major economic gatherings in that beautiful, small, yet Read More >
Singapore REITs #4 A market update
So far, in my previous articles, I have introduced the 3 most important financial ratios for analysing and shortlisting REITs, and also the FTSE ST REIT index to gauge the Singapore REITs market sentiment. Moving forward, I will give an overall Read More >
Consilia Capital Real Assets Fund Monitor Listed RE Pension Fund Performance
This monthly report from Consilia Capital on fund performance looks at a number of different topics. August performance  - which strategies performed best? Global real estate securities funds returns August 2018 Source: Consilia Read More >
Thinking Like An Intelligent REIT Investor Is the thrill of victory worth the agony of defeat?
In 2016, my co-author and I decided to publish a book called The Intelligent REIT Investor. The book was published just in time, as U.S. REITs were elevated to a new real estate sector in the closely watched Global Industry Classification Read More >
Trump Tariffs and REITs The Art Of The Chinese Tariff Deal
President Trump announced new tariffs this week on around $200 billion in Chinese goods, and Mr. Market just shrugged it off, as The Art of The Deal was old news. In fact, tough negotiation was a common thread running through President Read More >
All change in UK REIT Land In the last 25 years, the US has moved from under parity to be 11 times the size of the UK market
Returning recently from the EPRA (European Public Real Estate Association) conference in Berlin I was struck by the accelerating pace of change that is now (finally) underway within the UK REIT sector.  A sector, it is fair to say, that has not Read More >
Singapore REITs #3 The three most important financial ratios when analysing and shortlisting REITs
In this article I will share the three most important financial ratios when analysing and shortlisting REITs. I call them the three musketeers of REITs. The 1st musketeer’s name is Yield, he gives you money; the 2nd musketeer’s name is Read More >
Debt Funds – The Balance of Benefits A balanced view of this market shift and how risks and benefits are shared. 
Raising capital for real estate funds has been tougher over the past two years – declining to $124bn in 2017 from $128bn in 2016 and $137bn in 2016 and 2015. By contrast, however, real estate debt managers are seeing allocations increase.  In Read More >
Report on Real Estate Fund performance for July 2018 Consilia Capital Real Assets Funds Monitor - Focus: 10 years on from Lehmans
Most retail (i.e. non-institutional) investors tend to hold their real estate allocation through a collective investment vehicle, or fund. For listed real estate Read More >
U.S. REITS AT A GLANCE: THE RIGHT RISKS WITH BLUE-CHIPS Being realistic about your ability and readiness to stomach big swings in the value of your investments
First, let me offer up my thanks. It’s been over a week since my introductory article appeared here, and I’ve been hearing the response was very good. I’m so grateful. Thank you.  This week I want to touch on “risk” … when Read More >
U.S. REITS At A Glance: From REIT to Shining REIT The world of U.S. Real Estate investing
Please allow me to skip a fuller introduction of myself - time is short, your time valuable, and article word counts understandably limited.  First, thank you for including me in The Property Chronicle. I am honored and humbled to share my Read More >
Singapore REITs #2 On top of individual REITs counters, retail investors also need to be aware of the Overall Market Sentiment by looking at the Singapore REITs Index
In my last article for The Property Chronicle, I gave an overview on: The definition REITs (Real Estate Investment Trust) The reasons to invest in REITs as an alternative to physical real estate investment The Benefit and drawback on Read More >
Singapore REITs – Why, which and when? Why you should include REITs in your current property portfolio
What are REITs? REITs are collective investment schemes that invest in a portfolio of income generating real estate assets. The assets of REITs are professionally managed and rental income generated from assets are distributed back to unit Read More >
Listed Real Estate is in remarkably good health The UK economy is either growing or capable of pumping out reliable income streams
The UK’s listed real estate sector was hard hit by the taper tantrums of 2015. It tried to recover but any hope of a return to the bull market conditions which prevailed from the lows of 2009 were snuffed out by Brexit. The sector hasn’t been Read More >
Shopping centre with glass shop front in foreground A slow dance towards transparency Is the real estate debt funding industry ready to change?
Real estate debt funding globally is a huge machine – turning over $400bn annually in the US, and approximately €225bn in Europe, of which the UK makes up roughly 25-30%. The European figure, however, is a very broad estimate because at any Read More >
A pile of gold coins and bars “No, what I meant was…” Interpreting fund manager euphemisms
Given time, most industries develop a jargon which allows participants to exude a professional glow and some degree of intellectual superiority when addressing outsiders (especially when poised to charge for their services). This is notably true Read More >
US dollars on a wooden table Underwriting to the downside… Why current debt market conditions are both a difficulty and an opportunity
UK lending teams reconvening after the summer this autumn and scrutinizing unspent budgets will be looking warily with their credit committees at the challenge of successful deployment in Q4. Most debt investors would acknowledge that there is Read More >
London skyline How can REITs reduce their discounts in the absence of M&A activity? M&A is not coming to the rescue of investors just yet, but there are new trends beginning in the listed REIT sector
Previously in this column we looked at what appeared to be the start of a new trend of M&A in the property sector, following the bids for Market Tech and Kennedy Wilson Europe. However, the trend has in fact not materialised. It seems that Read More >
Abstract arrows and numbers Premium income or discounted ‘growth’? The latest on the real estate investment trusts
In the last few weeks central bank watchers claim to have detected a new mood emerging from this summer’s gathering of the clan. A desire to follow the Fed down a path which leads to ‘normalisation’ of interest rates and the unwinding of QE Read More >
Piles of coins with seedlings growing out of the top of them Mind the bank-shaped gap Our debt markets expert Emma Huepfl considers the latest trends in transacted lending
It is almost a decade since the beginning of the end of the debt-driven property boom. Back then, British banks supplied 72% of the finance to the market, Germans and CMBS supplied most of the remainder, and little else could compete. Anyone Read More >
Close-up of stacks of pennies Whither the open-ended funds? Adrian Elwood discusses alchemy in finance and the illusion of liquidity
Everyone knows that it is not possible to turn base metal into gold and yet there is often a degree of alchemy involved in finance. In the case of property, the alchemists would have us believe that if it were only possible to find the right Read More >


Investor's Notebook

Smart people from around the world share their thoughts

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The Macro View

Recent financial news and how it connects across all asset classes

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Fintech, proptech and what it all means

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A sideways look at the world of wine

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The Architect

Some of the profession's best minds

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The Auctioneer

What's going on in the auction world

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Residential Investor

Making money from residential property investment

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The Professor

Analysis and opinion from the academic sphere

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Face to Face

In-depth interviews with leading figures in the property world

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The Headhunter

Recruitment and career moves

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The Analyst

Investment themes and trends

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The History Man

A look back at previous cycles, events, characters

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The Economist

Money, rates and prices

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Political Insider

The inside scoop on Washington, Westminster and Whitehall

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The Agent

Reflections on estate agency, today and in past times

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Alternative assets

Investing in tangible assets

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