Brazil started the decade off as Latin America’s emerging-market darling but has been trapped in a dark economic and political tunnel since early 2014; is the country finally beginning to see the light at the end? One indicator, the Bovespa stock-market index, replies with a resounding yes.
Many investors today want to see their investments make a positive impact, and not just in their pocketbooks but for the social and/or environmental values and efforts they support. A recent study examines the major impediments and accelerators to impact investing today in an effort to enhance the growth of values-aligned investment.
Many financial firms have regarded the new online currency bitcoin with at best skepticism, and yet others are not only embracing the innovation but actively employing it, developing disruptive business models that take advantage of its unique properties, forging into new frontiers that may in retrospect rival the introduction of the Internet 20 years ago.
At the beginning of 2017, the European Central Bank (ECB) confirmed that it will keep its benchmark rate unchanged at 0 percent and its deposit rate at -0.4 percent. To sustain European economies, the ECB will also continue its bond-buying program with 80 billion euros (US$85 billion) per month until the end of March.
In the United States, the average car spends 96 percent of its time parked on a parking space or in a garage. The rest of the world isn’t much better. Yet, regardless of all those cars just sitting and doing nothing, it is reported that 1.2 million people are killed in road accidents per year worldwide.
For investors with an appetite for high returns even if they are seasoned with high risk, investment in frontier markets, the smallest economies in the developing world, may be worth considering. The best approach is to allocate only a small portion of a portfolio to these potentially profitable but likely volatile markets.
Real estate investment trusts, which pool resources to invest in rental-income properties, have led as the top-performing asset class and been the ideal response to low interest rates. Recently the GICS recognized this success by introducing a new equity market sector category for real estate companies, guaranteed to attract investors.
Good water is a basic human need, and threats to its continued supply take on emergency proportions. That is why in the US investment is growing in companies that are tackling ageing water-supply infrastructure but also addressing the increasing probability of devastating drought, especially on the country’s western coast.
David Swensen has been the chief investment officer of Yale University’s endowment fund since 1985. During this period, the Yale endowment has made significant changes in its asset-allocation pattern.
For 31 years, private-equity firm Blackstone Group has produced healthy returns for its fund investors, despite weathering some stormy economic conditions. Much of its success is due to its strategy of reaching money-making, risk-mitigating deals at the most advantageous times.