The Federal Reserve and Beer Goggles plus what Financial Repression means for Apartment Building Investments

James Montier, who works at the intersection of value investing and behavioral investing (Author of ‘The Little Book of Behavioral Investing’ on Amazon among others) has a great quote in his latest white paper published by GMO Global Investment Management entitled “The 13th Labour of Hercules:Capital Preservation in the Age of Financial Repression” Note that you may have to register at the site (free).

His paper discusses the effects of financial repression on portfolio stock and bond allocations and by implication the effects on real estate and particularly  apartment building investments. Financial repression is the term used to describe central bank’s strategies for forcing interest rates to zero or negative to spur investment and spending at the expense of saving. Take it away James:

William McChesney Martin was the longest-serving Federal Reserve Governor of all time. He is probably most famous for his observation that the central bank’s role was to “take away the punch bowl just when the party is getting started.” In contrast, Bernanke’s Fed is acting like teenage boys on prom night: spiking the punch, handing out free drinks, hoping to get lucky, and encouraging everyone to view the market through beer goggles. [Emphasis mine]

The paper goes into depth on the effects of financial repression on investments, which grow the longer the repression lasts, up to twenty years. Does the phrase: “… for an extended period” ring a bell? How about QE1, QE2, QE3, and now QE-infinity?

Financial Repression and Apartment Building Investment
Source: James Montier, GMO


Apartment buildings are the real estate equivalent of Continue reading The Federal Reserve and Beer Goggles plus what Financial Repression means for Apartment Building Investments

The shape of the entire yield curve drives #CRE pricing, not single Treasury rate- CBRE Econometrics

Research out from CBRE Econometric Advisors shows that the typical risk-free benchmark rate, the 10 year Treasury, does not accurately reflect the cost of capital risks in asset pricing for commercial real estate. The whole yield curve or ‘term structure’ should be used instead. Highlights from their report:

  • Our research shows that it is not a single risk-free rate that drives asset pricing, but rather the entire term structure of interest rates (also referred to as the shape of the yield curve; we use these terms interchangeably). This term structure effect is so strong that relying upon a single benchmark rate in one’s analysis (as is typically done by analysts and investors) is inappropriate. We will demonstrate this below, using our empirical model of cap rates.

Cap Rates vs Yield Curve for Capartment building investment pricing