Industry Voices

  1. Beyond the gateway: Investment considerations for secondary cities

    trueIn recent years, direct investment in commercial real estate has been heavily concentrated in a few cities, but as foreign investors push up prices in these “gateway” cities, many veteran investors looked to secondary cities, as well as some smaller markets with good growth prospects.

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  2. Farmland investing in California: Withstanding a historic drought

    trueCalifornia is the nation's most productive agricultural state and is home to a $35 billion agricultural industry. It is also bone dry.

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  3. If your CEO asks about retirement readiness, will you have an answer?

    trueImagine your CEO is upset because he was just told that large numbers of older workers are delaying their retirements. He wants to know not only why this is occurring, but also why he and the chief financial officer weren't made aware that this was a likely possibility a few years earlier.

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  4. Mapping a changed fixed-income world

    trueChanges in the market have resulted in a greater continuum in terms of credit quality across the fixed-income universe and increased correlations between historically disparate asset classes.

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  5. Attention defined contribution participants: Beware of being the patsy!

    trueIt's a truism that poker — and financial markets — can be unkind to those unaware of the caliber of their opponents. Some sponsors of defined contribution plans, however, may be forgetting this in their otherwise admirable quest to lower costs with indexed investments.

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  6. Index Wars: The effect of increased competition on ETF providers, and institutional investors

    trueAs long as investors continually look for new and better ways to invest in, track or beat the market, index providers will continually be challenged to find ways to create better, more robust benchmarks to meet customer expectations.

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  7. A call to action for improved target-date due diligence

    trueThe February 2013 Department of Labor guidance on target-date fund screening and monitoring demonstrated an industry need for greater TDF transparency and more due diligence on the part of plan fiduciaries. Guidance explicitly called for a better understanding of overall portfolio construction and ...

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  8. How can DC plans use alternatives to calm the waters as interest rates continue to rise?

    trueInterest rates are on the rise, and that is bad news for fixed-income investors. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes rose from 1.6% in early May to 2.9% in early September before receding to around 2.5% in mid-October. Because retirement plans have relied on fixed income to keep the volatility of ...

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  9. Madoff 5 years later: Still a need for transparency and technology improvements

    trueFive years ago, the massive fraud perpetrated by Bernard L. Madoff damaged the hedge fund industry's reputation and cost investors roughly $21 billion. Since then, it has become clear that independent checks — investor control of assets and transparency, in particular — could have prevented the ...

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  10. Steps to deal with emerging risks of stranded assets

    trueChanges in environmental regulations and technologies could quickly erode the value of assets in various sectors including energy and real estate. Ben Caldecott, a professor at Oxford University, offers steps to deal with emerging risks of so-called "stranded assets."

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  11. More valuable than oil

    trueThat bottle of water on your desk likely cost many times more than its equivalent in gasoline. No wonder investments in water have outperformed global indexes by a sizable margin. But first, a little background.

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  12. Implementing alternatives in DC plans

    trueMany defined contribution plan sponsors have gotten anxious about whether their participant fund lineups are optimal to helping meet their participants' future needs.

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  13. Japan: A spring awakening?

    trueThe Japanese stock market has been largely ignored by investors for the past two decades, given its long-term decline and apparently poor economic prospects since the bubble burst in the late 1980s. Starting in late 2012, the tide began to change.

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  14. Pension funds at risk: The new approach for long‑term investment

    trueThe pension fund industry is at an inflection point in its view of risk. The fear of underfunding in the face of falling returns and unfavorable demographics is leading to a greater investment in more exotic instruments. However, this is changing the risk profile to a point beyond what is normally ...

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