Monday, June 14, 2021

Investments Review: Part 6, Real Assets

In my usual reporting, gold is a separate category from real assets. I plan to put 10% of gross assets into gold and 15% into real assets. 10% would be in real estate and 5% in other assets, such as art.

Gold (PMGOLD.AX). Share of net worth: 12.10%. IRR: 15.2%. This is one of the more cost and tax effective ways to hold gold. The fund reflects rights to gold held by the Perth Mint. This is much more tax effective than using futures and less hassle than owning real gold, though Perth Mint provide some fairly easy options there. The IRR reflects our total gains on gold ETFs. The management fee is taken by the manager cancelling some shares each year. That means the price exactly tracks the Australian Dollar price of 1/100 of an ounce of gold.

WAM Alternatives (WMA.AX). Share of net worth: 4.32%. IRR: 16.9%. About 10% of this fund is in real estate and half in real assets, mainly water rights. The rest is in venture capital and cash. This fund was started by the failed Bluesky group and has now been taken over by Wilson Asset Management. The fund has traded deep below NAV. It has closed some of the gap but is still below NAV. I'm holding the fund mainly in the hope that eventually it trades at a premium to NAV. The underlying performance is not that good. In 2020 it lost 3 cents per share in NAV to $1.08 per share while paying out 4 cents in dividends. This year, so far it's gained 6 cents per share, which I guess is OK.

TIAA Real Estate. Share of net worth: 2.78%. IRR: 4.8%. This fund invests in US real estate - offices, retail, apartments, and industrial. It is in my US retirement account (403b). The IRR for this fund is low, but its returns are very smoothed and so it has a nominally high Sharpe ratio and a low correlation to my other assets. Based on my analysis, I'm hoping that the coming period is one of higher returns than average for this fund. It is easy to market time this fund due to the lag in revaluations.

Masterworks. Share of net worth: 2.63%. IRR: -0.28%. This fund provides fractional access to paintings, mostly works from the last few decades. I have now invested in nine paintings through the platform, investing USD 10k in each. Not much to report so far regarding performance. The downside of the platform I think, is that it isn't worthwhile for the manager to buy a painting for $100k or even $1 million. Buying a $10 million painting has a huge economy of scale for them. They are incentivised to make profits, but they could make it either by getting a lot of appreciation or less appreciation but more assets under management faster. Less expensive paintings that have a larger potential for gain cost them too much to offer.

US Masters Residential Property Fund (URF.AX). Share of net worth: 1.25%. IRR: -1.85%.This is an Australian fund that invests in residential real estate in metropolitan New York. The fund has had a quite disastrous history and now trades at less than 50% of NAV. The fund's underlying exposure to real estate is much larger than the value of the shares on the ASX. The fund has stabilized after refinancing its debt. Previously, it had assets in US Dollars and a lot of debt in Australian Dollars. My bet is that house prices rise in the New York area, that fund costs are now lower after the restructuring, and that the fund eventually trades nearer NAV.

Australian Unity Diversified Fund. Share of net worth: 1.17%. IRR: 28.2%. A recent investment in our SMSF. Invests in Australian office, retail, and healthcare real estate. This is unlisted property and so the price reflects the actual net asset value. Listed real estate provides much less diversification from stock market risk.

Domacom Investments. Share of net worth: 1.12%. IRR: 0.16%. Another recent investment in our SMSF. Fractional investing in Australian real estate. So far, I bought a small share in a farm, but the platform is very slow moving regarding new investments and most existing investments that are trading don't look like good bets.

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