Activos líquidos, no líquidos y alternativos: lo básico

Genevieve Signoret

Carta desde Querétaro

Ayer escribí: “En esta nota les explico las actualizaciones que hemos hecho a las estrategias de nuestros portafolios (activos líquidos)”. Un poco más adelante mencioné “activos alternativos” como un ejemplo de activos de riesgo. En esta nota quiero aclarar a qué me refiero cuando hablo de activos líquidos, no líquidos y alternativos.

Primero, dos advertencias. (1) No todos usan estas palabras con el mismo significado, incluso dentro de la industria. La presente explicación sólo se refiere al uso dentro de TransEconomics. (2) Éste no es un documento técnico y pinta una imagen simplificada.

La liquidez de un activo es la velocidad con la que éste se puede convertir a efectivo, asumiendo siempre un precio razonable (por supuesto, yo podría convertir mi casa a efectivo si la vendo por $1, pero esto no es lo que tenemos en mente).

Un activo líquido que podríamos recomendar para su portafolio es alguno transado en un mercado para la cual el volumen diario de transacciones es lo suficientemente alto para garantizar que podríamos vender el activo rápidamente. Por ejemplo, acciones, bonos, Fibras, derivados (incluyendo aquellos ligados a commodities) y ETF, que son fondos listados que tienen canastas de otros activos líquidos

Un activo no líquido no se puede convertir en efectivo rápidamente (a un precio razonable). Por ejemplo, fondos cerrados (de los cuales no se puede uno retirar antes de una fecha fija sin incurrir en una multa), o cualquier bien raíz no bursatilizado. Otros ejemplos son: casas o bienes raíces que sean propiedad suya o de su familia, capital inversión o fondos de capital emprendedor, o un préstamo personal a un amigo.

Usamos el término activo alternativo para referirnos a cualquier activo que no sea un bono o acción tradicional listado en un mercado con alto volumen de transacciones.

En el diagrama de arriba mostramos que todos los activos no líquidos son alternativos, pero no todos los activos alternativos son no líquidos. Para entender cómo puede pasar esto, recordemos que los derivados y bienes raíces bursatilizados como las Fibras son ejemplos de activos líquidos. Al mismo tiempo, no son bonos ni acciones tradicionales, y por lo tanto son alternativos. En otras palabras, la liquidez de un activo es independiente de la propiedad de ser alternativo.

¡Espero que esto ayude!

Comentarios: Deje su comentario.

Actualización de estrategia

Genevieve Signoret

En esta carta les explico las actualizaciones que hemos hecho a las estrategias para nuestros portafolios bursátiles.

Nuestro panorama esperanzador pierde algo de su lustre

El pasado miércoles 27 de marzo compartimos a través de nuestro blog hermano, Timón Económico, nuestros escenarios actualizados para la economía y los mercados globales en el periodo 2018-19. Nuestro panorama permanece esperanzador, pero en los últimos meses ha perdido algo de su lustre: hemos reducido de 80% a 75% la probabilidad (subjetiva) que asignamos a nuestro benigno escenario central y hemos elevado la de nuestro escenario pesimista de 10% a 15%. Debido a la incertidumbre que rodea al TLCAN y a la alta probabilidad de que Andrés Manuel López Obrador se vuelva presidente, hemos ajustado drásticamente a la baja nuestros pronósticos de crecimiento y tipo de cambio para México en el escenario central. Este pesimismo centrado en México explica por qué insertamos la frase al Exterior en el nombre de nuestro escenario central, Calma al Exterior.

Pero no abandonaremos los activos de riesgo

Aunque ya no es tan brillante ni tan seguro como antes, nuestro escenario central es todavía benigno y de alta probabilidad. Por lo tanto, no reduciremos la proporción entre activos de riesgo[1] y de refugio[2] en los portafolios de nuestros clientes.

Si el horizonte de inversión de nuestro cliente es de más de 10 años, seguimos invirtiendo sólo en activos de riesgo.[3]Para horizontes de 5 a 10 años, asignamos 80% a activos de riesgo y 20% a activos de calidad. La proporción para horizontes de 2 a 5 años 60%-40%.

Rehuimos al peso y agregamos algo de oro

El que nuestro escenario central haya perdido brillo, especialmente para México y el peso, significa que ahora evitamos casi completamente al peso mexicano[4]. Como muchos de los riesgos a nuestro escenario central son geopolíticos, y como en nuestro escenario central el Banco Central Europeo (BCE) y la Reserva Federal (Fed) adoptan posturas más restrictivas, incluimos nuevamente al oro en la lista de activos de refugio y abrimos posiciones pequeñas en él.

La mitad o menos de nuestros bonos son del Tesoro de EE.UU.

Mantenemos una postura bajista para las relaciones del dólar ante el euro y el yen, pero nos resistimos a sobre exponer a nuestros clientes a bonos del Tesoro, ya que nos parece probable que la Fed endurezca su política monetaria demasiado rápidamente. Por lo tanto hemos fijado un límite superior de 50% a la proporción de bonos del Tesoro y ponemos la vista en una duración promedio de 6 a 25 años. El resto de la parte asignada a bonos se distribuye entre bonos soberanos de mercados desarrollados excluyendo a EE.UU. (la mayor parte) y bonos corporativos de alta calidad y larga duración emitidos en economías desarrolladas.

Aplicamos una regla similar a bienes raíces

La mitad de los activos ligados a bienes raíces, aunque todavía provengan de mercados desarrollados, no son de EE.UU.

Damos sobrepeso a mercados emergentes en acciones

Para decidir la distribución de acciones en distintos países respetando límites para mercados y sectores, asignamos una buena parte de la sección del portafolio de nuestro cliente que corresponde a acciones a un fondo índice ponderado por mercado. El resto va a “sobrepesos” de acuerdo con las sugerencias (de comprar, vender o dejar sin cambio) que nos da el modelo cuantitativo exclusivo que analiza índices de mercados donde podemos invertir a través de fondos cotizados en bolsa que satisfacen nuestros estrictos criterios en cuanto a costo y liquidez.[5]

Hoy reducimos la proporción de acciones de EE.UU., que consideramos sobrevaluadas, y damos sobrepeso a mercados emergentes. Entre los mercados emergentes, damos sobrepeso a Rusia, Brasil y Corea del Sur; entre los desarrollados, damos sobrepeso al Reino Unido[6].

El balance final

En resumen, seguimos dando un marcado sobrepeso a mercados emergentes al tiempo que evitamos a México, y mantenemos el límite de 50% para bonos de EE.UU. y activos ligados a bienes raíces. Adicionalmente, y por causa de la restricción monetaria y el riesgo geopolítico que prevemos, categorizamos al oro como un activo de refugio y abrimos posiciones en él.

 

[1] Todas las posiciones son largas. Definimos un activo de riesgo como cualquiera que no es de refugio. Por ejemplo, acciones, activos ligados a bienes raíces tales como FIBRAS, activos alternativos incluyendo futuros de materias primas, bonos de mercados emergentes (aunque sean soberanos), y bonos corporativos con calificación por debajo de A, aun cuando hayan sido emitidos en un país y una moneda considerados seguros.

[2] Definimos un activo de refugio (o “de calidad”) como un bono emitido en una divisa de refugio con calificación crediticia global de A o superior. El yen japonés, el franco suizo, el dólar, el euro (la menos confiable en la lista) y algunas monedas escandinavas son para nosotros divisas de refugio. Notemos que ninguna de las divisas en esta lista tiene correlación positiva con precios de materias primas; por esta razón no incluimos al dólar canadiense ni al dólar australiano como refugio. Estamos considerando la posibilidad de volver a incluir a la libra británica en la lista, tras haberla eliminado alrededor de la fecha del referendo de Brexit. Desde nuestro punto de vista, el oro es un activo de refugio confiable sólo ante eventos extremos.

[3]Para aquellos clientes cuya tolerancia al riesgo nos parece baja en relación a su horizonte de inversión, tomamos posturas mucho más conservadoras que las mencionadas en este párrafo.

[4] Excepto en aquellos casos en que nuestra misión es producir un flujo en pesos durante los próximos dos años. Requerimientos de corto plazo en peso están escalonados en Cetes.

[5] Consideramos como un índice en el que se puede invertir si éste se puede replicar a través de un ETF que cumple con nuestros criterios de costo, liquidez y calidad en la gestión.

[6] No todos los portafolios de nuestros clientes tienen exactamente los mismos sobrepesos. Dejamos que los sobrepesos maduren (es decir, esperamos a que nuestro modelo dé una señal de venta) antes de cerrar la posición y abrir una nueva.

Comentarios: Deje su comentario.

Liquid, illiquid, and alternative assets: a primer

Genevieve Signoret

Letter from Queretaro

Yesterday I wrote, “In this blog entry, I update you on our current (liquid) portfolio strategies.” A few paragraphs below that I mentioned as an example of risk assets something called “alternative assets”. In this blog entry, I want to spell out what I mean by liquid assets, illiquid assets, and alternative assets.

Two caveats first. (1) Usage in our industry can vary. This clarification pertains to our usage at TransEconomics. (2) This is a non-technical piece; I simplify on purpose.

We refer to the liquidity of an asset as the speed with which you can turn it into cash (at a reasonable valuation, of course—I could turn my house into cash today if I charged only a dollar for it, but that’s not what we mean).

A liquid asset we might propose for your portfolio strategy is one listed on an exchange for which the volume of transactions each day there is a high enough that we can buy or sell the asset quickly. Examples are stocks, bonds, real estate securities such as REITs, derivatives (including those linked to commodities), and exchange traded funds (ETFs) which are listed funds that hold other liquid assets.

An illiquid asset is one that you can’t quickly turn into cash (at reasonable valuation). Examples are closed funds (ones you can’t withdraw from without penalty before a certain date), all non-securitized real property such as your houses and any commercial real estate you may own, shares in an unlisted start-up or in an unlisted mature business such as your family business, shares in a private equity or venture capital fund, or a loan you may have granted privately to a friend.

An alternative asset as we use the term is any asset different from a traditional listed stock or bond for which trading volumes are high.


As we show in the diagram above, all illiquid assets are alternative but not all alternative assets are illiquid. To see that, recall how I mention above that publicly traded derivatives and real estate securities such REITs are examples of liquid assets. Yet they are not traditional stocks or bonds. So they must be alternative assets. Liquidity, in other words, does not disqualify an asset from being alternative.

I hope this helps!


Update History:

  • 6 April 2018: “As we show in the diagram above, all illiquid assets are alternative but not all alternative assets are liquid illiquid.
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Strategy Update

Genevieve Signoret

In this blog entry, I update you on our current (liquid) portfolio strategies.

Our rosy outlook has lost some shine

Last Wednesday 27 March, on our sister blog, Timón Económico we shared updated scenarios for the world economy and global markets in 2018–19. While our outlook is still rosy, compared with a few months back, it has lost some of its shine: we have lowered the (subjective) odds we assign to our benign central scenario from 80% to 75% and raised those of our pessimistic risk scenario to 15% from 10%. Also, because of Nafta uncertainty and the strong chance that Andrés Manuel López Obrador will become president, we have revised sharply down our central scenario growth and exchange rate projections for Mexico. This singling out of Mexico for pessimism explains why we included the word External in the name we gave our central scenario—External Calm.

But we’re not shifting out of risk assets

While less lustrous and certain than before, our central scenario remains benign and high-probability. Thus, we are not lowering allocations in client portfolios to risk assets[1] relative to safe-haven (quality)[2] assets. For clients whose investment horizons exceed 10 years, we continue to invest in risk assets alone.[3] For 5–10 years out, our risk-quality split remains 80%-20%. For the next 2–5 years, it’s 60%-40%.

Shunning the peso, adding some gold

That our central scenario has lost shine, especially for Mexico and the peso, means that we are now almost completely avoiding the Mexico peso[4]. Because many of the risks to our central scenario are geopolitical, and because under central scenario assumptions we see the European Central Bank (ECB) and Federal Reserve (Fed) tightening their stances, we are again categorizing gold as a safe haven and opening small positions in it.

No more than half our bonds in U.S. Treasuries

We remain bearish on the U.S. dollar relative to the euro and yen loath to over-expose clients to Treasuries with the Fed so hawkish and so prone, in our view, to make a mistake (tighten too fast). So we continue to caps bond allocations to U.S. Treasuries of 50% and target an average duration for U.S. Treasuries to 6-10 years; we’re putting the rest into mostly non-U.S. developed economy sovereign and high-quality corporate bonds of long duration.

A similar rule applies to real estate

Half our real-estate–linked assets, while still developed-market, are now non-U.S.

In equity, we’re overweight EM

To allocate equity internationally and across market caps and sectors, we assign a good chunk of each equity portion of client portfolios to a core position in a market-weighted all-country stock index fund and the rest to “overweights” in accordance with “calls” (signals to Buy, Sell, or Hold) we “hear” from a proprietary quantitative model that analyzes market indices we can invest in through ETFs that meet our strict criteria as to cost and liquidity.

Today, we’re underweight the expensive U.S. stock market and developed markets generally and overweight emerging markets. Within emerging markets, we’re overweight Russia, Brazil, and South Korea; within developed markets, the UK.[5]

The bottom line

In summary, we remain heavily overweight emerging markets while shunning Mexico, and continue to cap at 50% U.S. bond and real estate holdings. Also, because of projected monetary tightening and heightened geopolitical risks, we’re now categorizing gold as a safe haven and opening small positions in it.

Appendix

Long-horizon calendar

Forecasts

Note on subjective probabilities

Our model portfolios and their benchmarks

 

[1] All positions are long. We define a risk asset as any that is not a safe-haven asset. Examples include stocks, real estate-linked assets such as REITS, alternative assets such as commodity futures, emerging market bonds (even if sovereign), and corporate bonds not A-rated even if issued in a safe-haven country and currency.

[2] We define a safe-haven (or “quality”) asset as a bond issued in a safe-haven currency with a global credit rating of A or above. We identify as safe-haven currencies are the Japanese yen, Swiss franc, U.S. dollar, euro (the least reliable in this list), and a few Scandinavian currencies. Notice that none in this list exhibits a strong positive correlation to commodity prices, which it why the list omits the Australian and Canadian dollars. We are exploring the possibility of adding the Great Britain pound back into this mix soon after having removed it around the date of the Brexit referendum. We view gold as reliable safe haven only for extreme events.

[3] For clients we perceive to be risk intolerant relative to their investment horizons, we adopt much lower exposures to risk assets than those stated in this paragraph.

[4] Unless of course our mandate is to produce peso cashflow for the client over the next two years. Near-term peso requirements are laddered in Cetes.

[5] Not all client portfolios have these precise overweight positions. We let overweight positions mature (we await Sell calls from our model) before closing them out and entering new ones.

Comentarios: Deje su comentario.

Initial thoughts on Trump’s win

Genevieve Signoret

Letter from Queretaro

Feeling sober

We believe that the world has changed. We are watchful and studious, bent on figuring out what exactly is emerging, in particular in Washington DC.

We’re encouraging clients to think and act slowly, execute risk management plans methodically, bear in mind their investment horizons (ward off wasteful anxiety over short-term market fluctuations), and get to work understanding the new world that is emerging.

Admittedly, we’re feeling sober. Back in 2001, we chose the name TransEconomics to evoke our commitment to stretching and reaching across divides: discovering and seizing on cross-border investment opportunities; understanding and decoding for clients the transnational ecosystems we all invest and produce in, love and thrive in; and building a corporate culture that bridges social, gender, racial, linguistic, and gender gaps. Sobering us is a sense that our company’s most deeply held values are under attack.

At the same time, we take some comfort in a job well done. We believe strongly in our multi-scenario approach to portfolio construction. In building our downside risk scenario, called Trigger-Happy, we envisioned a Trump victory. Then, for each client investment horizon, we revamped portfolio strategies to seek wealth protection and growth over that same horizon should global risks materialize. Among other things, this involved taking substantial long positions in U.S. Treasury securities, increasing client exposure to non-USD developed-market currencies and, for clients with short-term investment horizons, bulking up client holdings of U.S. dollar cash.

We hold to our portfolio strategies and in client portfolios are taking no emergency market actions except in accounts with new cash in, where we’re swooping up bargains.

What we know and do not know and our immediate task

We know that the forces of xenophobic nationalism, anti-rationalism, authoritarianism, anti-institutionalism, racism, and misogyny—in short, fascism—are about to enter the White House under the auspices of the Republican Party, and that said party will continue to control the U.S. Congress.

We know that Donald Trump is ruthlessly pragmatic and competitive. That he has never held office before and is deeply ignorant of how government works. That he places no value on anyone or any ideal besides winning, his own wealth, and his own fame. That’s he’s charismatic and is an extraordinarily powerful communicator. And that he speaks to the deepest fears and longings of American whites, especially men, especially those who live outside of cities, are older than 45, earn more than $50,000/year, and are uneducated. He´s beloved by white supremacists.

We perceive Vice President-Elect Mike Pence to be competent and devoted to public service.

We suspect but do not know whether the U.S. constitution will come under attack.

We perceive the U.S. Supreme Court to be non-partisan vigilant upholders of the Constitution.

We do not expect but do not know whether Trump’s self interest will lead Trump to become conciliatory, empower Pence, and generally choose a competent team and delegate the running of government to its members.

We do not know how smooth will be Trump’s relationship with the Republican-dominated Congress. The party is factitious and many in it fear Trump and are ashamed of him.

Our immediate task is to discover the innards of the new U.S. Congress and watch who Trump will put on his team.

On ethics and the management of wealth held in common with others

It should be clear to you all that I believe that to protect and grow our assets is the responsible thing to do. It is our mission at TransEconomics, one I’m proud of.

But of course a vast portion of the wealth we hold we hold not privately but in common with others—people alive today and people not yet born. And thus we’re called to protect and grow these commonly held riches too, assets such as freedom, peace, opportunity, solidarity, fairness, transparency, and of course our natural resources.

This means that we must work for the common good, not only manage global risks but also work to avert them, resisting anti-scientism and dangerous extremism.

And so today I look inward. I question every personal and work habit, ponder all details of my resource allocation.

I’m proud of my devotion to leading this firm in skillful private wealth management, but today I sharply ask myself whether I always show equal fervor in protecting our planet and building a wealth of opportunity, justice, democracy, and inclusion for all in this gorgeously diverse world.

Comentarios: 1 comentario.

Opportunities in U.S. commercial real estate for Latin American investors

John Greenman

Letter from Denver

In this blog post, we comment on a Special Foreign Investment Report titled Foreign Investment in U.S. Real Estate Remains Elevated; Capital Preservation and Stability Often Prioritized Over Yield from the research group at Marcus & Millichap (M&M), a U.S. brokerage company specializing in commercial real estate investment sales in the so-called “private market” (the market for transactions amounting to $10 Mn or less).

We concur with the report’s contention in its headline that foreign investors often tend to seek different qualities in their U.S. real estate investments than do their domestic competitors, valuing capital preservation and stability over yield, but we would add that this different acquisition profile provides the foreign investor with an advantage in today’s market. Right now, although supplies of higher-yielding, short-term holding opportunities have largely dried up, those of higher-quality stabilized assets abound. This niche is best for buyers who have longer investment horizons. International capital can fill this niche.

We also concur with the report’s observation that, notwithstanding the newsworthy multi-billion-dollar property acquisitions by a handful of Chinese buyers, most transactions for international buyers, like those for the overall market, occur in the $10 Mn and under size range. TransEconomics, you may recall, monitors for its largest investors the office sector for opportunities of up to $25 Mn. While it’s true that office assets tend to require larger capital investments than other property types, we do notice that, even for U.S. office properties, the best opportunities in this segment are often found at around $10 Mn.

Though most foreign capital continues to favor the gateway cities of the east and west coasts of the USA, we agree with the report’s comment that secondary cities are increasingly attractive to the international buyer, and that better risk-adjusted returns may be found there. As we have said previously, the cities of the Southwest that TransEconomics follows on behalf of its clients are all located in states where job growth is the strongest it has been since the year 2000.

The report highlights a traditional preference for Florida by Latin American investors, but we see active investment by Latin American capital in the U.S. Southwest region as well. For example, just earlier this year, a six-building office park in Denver sold to a Chilean pension fund for an impressive $190 Mn, while a suburban office property was sold to a Mexican family for $16 Mn. Mexican high net worth capital also continues to be an active buyer of multifamily properties in all the major Texas markets. Also, TransEconomics channels Latin American capital to the U.S. commercial estate market, be it through outright acquisition of a single property or minority ownership interest via private real estate investment funds.

Already this year, we have placed several clients in a fund specialized in acquiring and managing neighborhood shopping centers located in the U.S. Midwest. This fund pays a strong current dividend and holds its properties for appreciation over a five to seven-year period. We also offer investors participation in a new fund targeting commercial properties located along Denver’s expanding passenger rail network, again with a focus on good current return and long-term potential appreciation, and are working on a similar fund for self-storage properties. The U.S. commercial real estate market is both broad and deep and can meet a wide range of investor needs.

Finally, the M&M report offers a brief discussion of the EB-5 investment program, which offers foreign investors the opportunity to earn a green card for permanent residency in the USA for themselves and their immediate families in return for making an investment of $500,000 in a job-creating project. TransEconomics represents one such EB-5 project in Colorado that is fully approved by the U.S. Treasury and issuing green cards to its investors; we can assist clients in pursuing this alternative. Although, as the report states, to date, most EB-5 visas have gone to Chinese nationals, people from all nationalities may apply and, in fact, the Colorado project we work with is keenly interested in diversifying its investor base to include Latin Americans.

To discuss any aspect of this report or to consider alternative asset investment strategies for your portfolio, please call us by dialing +52 (442) 210-3847 or writing to patrimonial@transeconomics.com.

Comentarios: Deje su comentario.

¿Por qué y en cuáles propiedades de oficinas conviene invertir? Segunda parte

John Greenman

Carta desde Denver

Esta es la Segunda parte de una serie en dos entregas dedicada a explicar, por un lado, por qué inversionistas de todo tipo tienden a preferir propiedades de oficinas y, por otro lado, qué criterios de selección de tales oficinas recomendamos para inversionistas privados (individuos o familias de alto patrimonio).

En la Primera parte, explicamos por qué los fondos centrados en rendimiento total y los inversionistas institucionales desearán asignaciones de portafolio considerables en propiedades de oficinas. En esta segunda parte, nos centraremos en los criterios de selección para los inversionistas particulares. El primer criterio es por supuesto la ubicación.

Buenos fundamentos macroeconómicos

Al igual que con todos los bienes raíces comerciales, al buscar propiedades de oficinas, lo primero que se debe hacer es elegir ciudades con sólidos fundamentos macroeconómicos. Seleccionamos todas las ciudades del sudoeste de Estados Unidos que supervisamos de cerca en TransEconomics precisamente en base a este criterio.

El tamaño correcto

Segundo, el tamaño de la propiedad debe corresponder con la capacidad patrimonial del inversionista. Muchos de los activos suburbanos más pequeños coinciden con la capacidad patrimonial de los inversionistas privados.

Ubicación de calidad

Tercero, se debe buscar cuidadosamente entre todas las inversiones disponibles y encontrar las que ofrecen ubicaciones de mejor calidad. La mayoría de los activos de oficinas en nuestras ciudades favoritas del sudoeste de Estados Unidos están situados en submercados suburbanos. Más precisamente, quedan en “micromercados” maduros que han sido densificados y ofrecen una amplia gama de servicios importantes para los arrendatarios de oficinas actuales, incluida la más amplia variedad posible de opciones de transporte.

La composición correcta de la nómina de alquileres

Finalmente, para maximizar la capacidad de generar tanto un ingreso fijo como el potencial de apreciación a largo plazo, los inversionistas privados deben analizar la composición de la nómina de alquileres. Preferimos edificios cuyos inquilinos provengan de una amplia gama de sectores, con vencimientos de alquiler escalonados a lo largo de varios años y una cantidad suficiente de inquilinos como para que ninguno predomine en el flujo y por lo tanto en la rentabilidad de la propiedad.

La diversidad de inquilinos es importante para evitar la exposición indebida al “colapso” de un determinado tipo de negocio, como aprendieron para su pesar los propietarios que tenían una alta concentración de firmas inmobiliarias residenciales en sus edificios cuando colapsó el negocio de las hipotecas de alto riesgo en 2007-2008.

Del mismo modo, tener alquileres que venzan gradual y ordenadamente, en vez de agrupados en uno o dos años, evita el riesgo de tener que rebajar la renta de todos los alquileres si las negociaciones de renovación de arriendos justo coinciden con un período de baja demanda del mercado.

Finalmente, si ningún inquilino individual representa más del 20% de todo el flujo de alquileres, la pérdida de dicho inquilino no pondrá en riesgo a toda la propiedad. La mayoría de las propiedades bien ocupadas pueden resistir la pérdida del 20% de los ingresos sin retrasarse en el pago del servicio de la deuda. Es mejor dejar los edificios ocupados sólo por uno o dos grandes inquilinos a los propietarios institucionales, que están mejor preparados para soportar los costos de buscar un nuevo arrendatario en caso de vacancia.

Próximo paso: eficiencia de gestión

Los inversores privados ciertamente pueden hacer una buena inversión de largo plazo en el sector de oficinas si tienen cuidado de seleccionar la composición de alquileres correctas después de preocuparse por una macroeconomía regional positiva y la calidad de la ubicación del activo, el siguiente paso será aumentar la eficiencia de gestión agregando propiedades similares cercanas –en otras palabras, creando un portafolio.

Comentarios: Deje su comentario.

¿Por qué y en cuáles propiedades de oficinas conviene invertir? Primera parte

John Greenman

Carta desde Denver

En el mundo de las inversiones inmobiliarias comerciales, las propiedades de oficinas pueden ser una opción controvertida. Los críticos afirman que los edificios de oficinas demandan más capital y son más volátiles en sus rendimientos que los demás tipos principales de propiedades, como las multifamiliares, industriales y de comercio minorista. (Dejamos de lado el sector hotelero. ya que en realidad un hotel, más que un activo de bienes raíces tradicional con alquileres a largo plazo, es un complejo negocio de operación diaria alojado en una envoltura inmobiliaria). ¿Entonces por qué asumir el riesgo de poseer propiedades de oficinas?

En la Primera parte de esta entrada de blog, nos centraremos en los inversionistas institucionales; en la Parte 2, en los privados.

Asignación correcta

Primero que nada, los inversionistas institucionales (personas morales) que desean participar rentablemente en la clase de activos de propiedades inmobiliarias comerciales (CRE) necesitarán una exposición considerable a propiedades de oficinas. Después de todo, en cuanto a su valor, los edificios de oficinas constituyen el 50% de las existencias actuales de CRE.

Valuaciones dinámicas

Segundo, los fondos de especulación y otros inversionistas institucionales con más criterios de rendimiento total (IRR) que de ingreso actual compran edificios de oficinas porque les atrae que este sector pueda generar plusvalía más rápidamente que otros tipos de propiedades, lo cual ocurre cuando un subsegmento determinado del espacio de oficinas crece aceleradamente debido a cambios en el entorno económico.

Vimos esto en Houston durante el boom de petróleo y gas de 2012–2014, y lo vemos en la explosiva expansión de alta tecnología en la zona de la bahía de San Francisco que comenzó por el 2010 y que aún sigue firme; los alquileres de las oficinas en San Francisco se han duplicado desde 2010.

Prestigio y felicidad

Un tercer factor para algunos inversionistas, particularmente los fondos soberanos extranjeros y algunos individuos de muy gran patrimonio, puede ser el prestigio y el goce derivado de ser dueño de una propiedad de oficinas icónica. Simplemente es más divertido ser el dueño del Rockefeller Center en Nueva York o la TransAmerica Pyramid en San Francisco que de la bodega más hermosa del mundo.

¿Qué pasa con los inversores individuos de alto patrimonio?

¿Pero qué pasa con el inversionista privado que, al incluir propiedades inmobiliarias comerciales como estrategia de diversificación de portafolio, sólo desea un buen rendimiento ajustado al riesgo? También para estos inversionistas las oficinas pueden ser atractivas, pero sólo las de cierto tipo. Precisamente nos concentraremos en ese tipo en la Parte 2.

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Why office properties and which ones? Part 2

John Greenman

Letter from Denver

This is Part 2 of a two-part series to point out why investors of all types tend to like office properties and, for private (high net-worth) investors, offer office building selection criteria.

In Part 1, we explained why funds focused on total returns and institutional investors will want sizeable portfolio allocations to office properties. In this second part, we focus on selection criteria for private (high net worth) investors. Criterion number one is of course location.

Good macro fundamentals

As for all commercial real estate, when seeking office property, private investors should first seek out cities with good macroeconomic fundamentals. We selected all the Southwestern U.S. cities we monitor closely at TransEconomics precisely on this basis.

The right size

Second, the property size must match the investor’s equity capacity. Many of the smaller suburban assets do match the equity capacity of private investors.

Quality location

Third, one must sift carefully through the many available investment options to find those offering the best-quality locations. Most of the office assets in our favorite Southwestern U.S. cities are located in suburban submarkets and more precisely within mature infill “micro-markets” offering a wide range of amenities important to today’s office tenants—including the widest possible variety of transit options.

The right roll rent composition

Finally, to maximize the ability to generate both a steady cash return and the potential for long-term value appreciation, private investors must look at rent roll composition. We prefer buildings whose tenants come from a wide range of industries, with lease expiries staggered over a number of years, and a large enough number of tenants so that none dominates the rent roll and hence the economics of the property.

Tenant diversity is important to avoid undue exposure to a “meltdown” in one particular type of business, as landlords who had high concentrations of residential real estate firms in their buildings learned to their sorrow when the subprime mortgage business collapsed in 2007–2008.

Likewise, having leases that expire gradually and in an orderly fashion rather than “bunched” in a single year or two avoids the risk of re-setting the entire rent roll to a lower rent level if the lease renewal negotiations happen to fall during a period of weak market demand.

Finally, limiting exposure to any one single tenant to, ideally, no more than 20% of the entire rent roll ensures that the loss of such tenant does not imperil the entire property. Most well-occupied properties can withstand the loss of 20% of income and still stay current on debt service payments. Buildings occupied by only one or two big tenants are best left to institutional owners, who are better able to bear the costs of re-tenanting in the event of vacancy.

Next step: management efficiencies

By taking care to select the right rent rolls after first working “from the top down” in terms of positive regional macroeconomics and quality of location of the asset, private investors indeed can make a good long-term investment in the office sector. Their next step will be to increase management efficiencies by adding similar properties nearby—in other words, create a portfolio.

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Why office properties and which ones? Part 1

John Greenman

Letter from Denver

Within the world of commercial real estate investing, office properties can be a controversial investment choice. Critics say that office buildings are more capital-intensive and more volatile in their returns than the other major property types—namely, multi-family, industrial, and retail. (Here we leave aside the hotel sector as in reality a hotel is a complex daily operating business housed inside a real estate shell rather than a traditional real estate asset with longer term leases). So why take the risk of owning office properties?

In Part 1 of this blog entry, we focus on institutional investors; in Part 2, on private investors.

Correct allocation

First of all, institutional investors seeking to be properly allocated to the commercial real estate (CRE) asset class will need a sizeable exposure to office property. After all, office buildings make up 50% of existing stock of CRE as measured by investment value.

Dynamic valuations

Second, “market-timer” opportunistic funds and other institutional investors driven more by total return (IRR) criteria than current income buy office buildings because like the fact that the office sector can move upward in value more quickly that other property types when a particular sub-segment within the overall demand for office space increases rapidly owing to changes in the overall economy.

We saw this Houston during the oil and gas boom of 2012–2014, and we’re seeing it in the explosive high-tech expansion in the San Francisco Bay area that began in about 2010 and is still going strong—office rents in San Francisco have doubled since 2010.

Prestige and happiness

A third factor for some investors, particularly sovereign foreign funds and some very high net worth individuals, can be the prestige and enjoyment derived from owning an iconic office property. It’s simply more fun to own Rockefeller Center or the TransAmerica Pyramid in San Francisco than even the world’s nicest warehouse.

What about high net worth individuals?

But what about the private investor who just wants a good risk-adjusted return when diversifying his overall portfolio to include commercial real estate? Office can still make sense for such an investor, but only a certain kind of office. Precisely what kind is our focus in Part 2.

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