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Let’s Get Real: What does the new normal look like for real assets?

  • ,  Chief Executive |
  • 10 Jul 2020
  • Updated 13 Jul 2020

Investing in Real Assets – Recent Top Papers

Real asset investing has become a hot topic as investors attempt to decipher what long-term implications the coronavirus pandemic has caused. Various sectors now face challenging headwinds thanks to sudden changes in consumption patterns and supply chains, a stunted property market and oscillating investor risk appetites. But this disruption and change also provides investors with some attractive opportunities… 

This selection of papers, compiled by Savvy Investor, presents the latest insights on infrastructure, commodities, farming, agriculture and real estate. Several papers highlight the responsible investing elements and sustainable outcomes present across real asset investing. 

Infrastructure, farming and agriculture

Real Assets

What's in Your Real Assets Portfolio? Introducing RASA (PGIM Institutional Advisory & Solutions, May 2020)

In analysing real asset portfolios, PGIM notes that similar asset class allocations may have different macroeconomic and market sensitivities. Introducing their RASA framework to identify funds based on certain characteristics, they suggest investors can better match funds to differing investment objectives.

Defaults, Disruption and Development: Real assets adjust to the new normal (Aviva Investors blog, Jun 2020)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

Mark Versey from Aviva Investors explains why it is still far from business-as-usual in the real assets sector and considers how the global lockdown has affected infrastructure investors.

Real Assets Outlook May 2020 (Verus Investments)

In this outlook from Versus Investments, they address several core trends within the real asset space. These include insights on drivers of investor preference, the lasting impact of the economic shutdown as well as an outline of challenges and opportunities.

Four Extraordinary Events Creating Opportunities in Real Assets (Cohen & Steers, Jun 2020)

This paper from Cohen & Steers examines 4 of the major events caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that have impacted the real assets investment sector as a result, and why.


Infrastructure in the US: How to build better (McKinsey & Company, 2020)

How big and how costly is the US infrastructure gap? McKinsey & Company takes a look at the need for more and better infrastructure and investigate its impact on the economy and jobs.

Impact of COVID-19 on Infrastructure (UBS AM, Jun 2020)

This paper from UBS Asset Management outlines the ways that the COVID-19 crisis has affected infrastructure investors and considers how the sector will fare in today’s economic backdrop.

Belt and Road Initiative: COVID-19's impact on infrastructure (Refinitiv, Jun 2020)

Infrastructure investment spend by China on its Belt and Road Initiative has reached roughly $4 trillion, according to this report from Refinitiv. They investigate how the global pandemic has impacted these projects and consider the outlook.

Global Social Infrastructure Finance (Pensions Institute, 2020)

This systematic account from the Pensions Institute defines social infrastructure investment and presents the relevance and characteristics of this sector. The paper also covers investment vehicles and sustainability.

Gold and Commodites

The Relevance of Gold as a Strategic Asset (World Gold Council, Feb 2020)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

The World Gold Council examines the characteristics of Gold as a strategic asset class.

Rethinking Commodities (S&P Dow Jones Indices, 2020)

S&P Dow Jones Indices examines the nature and use of commodities as an asset class and within a portfolio as tactical trading tools and as risk premia allocations.

Webinar: 28 Jul 2020 - Commodity markets turned upside down? (S&P Dow Jones Indices)

What might the commodities market look like in a post-coronavirus world? Join BetaShare’s David Bassanese, Chief Economist and S&P’s Jim Wiederhold, Associate Director, Commodities and Real Assets in this upcoming webinar on the 28 July.

Responsible Gold Mining Principles (World Gold Council, Sep 2019)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

When gold mining is undertaken responsibly, it can play a key role in supporting sustainable development, according to World Gold Council. These principles highlight the key elements from the mining life cycle and act as a useful resource for stakeholders.

Farming and Agriculture

The Future of Food: Sustainable protein strategies (Zero Waste Scotland, 2020)

As the world faces a global climate crisis, Zero Waste Scotland presents sustainable agriculture and protein strategies from various countries across the world.

AMIS Monthly Agriculture Market Monitor - latest

This monthly report from Agriculture Market Information System details the latest performance and forecasts for the soft commodities markets.

Ag-food Tech: Megatrends and global opportunities (Global AgInvesting, 2020)

This paper argues for investment in sustainable and resilient food systems. At this post-pandemic juncture and in the face of global megatrends such as rapid growth in world population and middle-class expansion in Asia, they believe that the time to invest is now.

The UK Rural Report (Knight Frank, 2020)

This Rural Report explores the issues that matter to estate owners and rural business. It outlines the challenges and opportunities facing land investors.

Real Estate

Global Outlook: Real Estate During a Crisis (PGIM Real Estate, May 2020)

In this Global Outlook paper from the PGIM Real Estate research team, they evaluate regional perspectives, identify global themes and assess emerging investment opportunities.

The Office is Dead..... Long Live the Office (Nuveen, Jul 2020)

What are the prospects for office space in a post-coronavirus world? Real estate specialists at Nuveen discuss four of the major outcomes they foresee in the office sector.

Webinar: Crisis management, housing and the future of real estate (Federated Hermes, Jul 2020)

For compliance reasons, this paper is NOT accessible in the United States

What lasting change can we expect for the real estate market? Is it possible for property managers to maintain socially-distanced spaces? This webinar from Federated Hermes investigates some of the key concerns facing the real estate industry.

Real Estate and Defined Contribution Plans (FTSE Russell, 2020)

This paper from FTSE Russell looks at the benefits of listed real estate investing. It also provides a comprehensive sector breakdown including suggestions as to how DC plans can better access real estate.