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.
The $3 trillion hedge-fund industry is clearly losing its appeal as it delivers progressively lower returns to investors. According to data released by Preqin, a provider of information on the alternative-asset industry, hedge funds yielded average returns of 12.22 percent in 2013, 4.65 percent in 2014 and only 2.02 percent in 2015.
The Paris Agreement, signed by nearly 200 countries just a few months ago, marks a significant global shift away from investment in fossil fuels to renewable energy. 2015 was a banner year for the development of clean energy; although the pace has slackened somewhat in 2016, financial heavyweights continue to grow their “green” investments.
The commodities “super cycle” generated by mainly Chinese demand came to a screeching halt midway through 2014. The pain has been acutely felt by especially US oil and gas companies, which, crushed by their operating losses and high interest costs on debt, have been seeking Chapter 11 protection in record numbers.