All investments carry risk. Historic performance does not guarantee future gains. No content on this website constitutes financial advice, but are only my personal reflections and descriptions of my experiences.

Insight – Where does Real Estate investing fit in the All Seasons Portfolio?

In this rather lengthy post, the following topics will be discussed:

  • In what economical environments are real estate biased to perform well (economic growth and inflation)?
  • Five ways of investing in real estate, regardless how much money you have
  • How to adjust your balanced portfolio when including real estate - a template for adjusting portfolios regardless of new asset class
  • A list of resources with some of the best books on real estate investing

There are numerous opportunities and strategies for making money by investing. The ultimate goal is always to achieve a combination of positive cash flow and value appreciation of your owned asset. It is just a matter of preferred strategy for the investor which dictates how you can grow your wealth.

With the All Seasons Portfolio strategy, you can achieve profits but with less volatility than on the stock market. This is achieved by having a balanced portfolio that is diversified between asset classes. Typically, those asset classes are stocks, long-term government bonds, inflation-linked bonds, gold and commodities, with the following allocation between them.

There are of course many more asset classes available than the five listed above. One extremely important such asset class is real estate, which is a popular investment object among investors. It is so attractive, because it offers profits in two ways: value appreciation of the property, as well as monthly cash flow from rental income.

In this deep dive article, we will be looking more closely at real estate investing - how you can get exposure to it and with how much capital - and how it fits into an All Seasons Portfolio. Let us first begin with the latter of these two topics by answering the question of what economic biases real estate have.

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Portfolio Update – July 2020 – The value of currency hedging

  • Worst month for the US Dollar in more than a decade: how it impacts European investors and how to protect against currency risk
  • Monthly portfolio update: Fairly stable month: impacted by negative currency movements
  • Book tip: Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises by Ray Dalio (link at the bottom of the post)
  • In case you missed it: I have ditched all intermediate-term bonds

Hope you are having a good summer so far, even though I am guessing it is spent quite close to home this year. Unlike others here in the Nordics, I have worked through July, and will have my vacation from mid-August instead. Looking forward to get some time off to read about investing.

I am really pleased to see that there seems to be great interest out there for low-volatility investing and balanced asset portfolio allocations. I strongly believe that the past decade has made stock investing feel easy, but there are more risk in it that you might have thought. Over the long term, the economy, and thus the financial markets, experiences big shifts in the long-term cycle. Now, total debt levels to GDP are at extreme levels not seen since the Great Depression.

This ratio is enhanced by decreasing GDP world-wide due to lockdowns and increased debt to cope with the effects of the coronavirus. Are we nearing the end of the long term debt cycle and are nearing a great deleveraging that must ensue thereafter? According to Ray Dalio, we were nearing the end of the long-term debt cycle even a year before the Covid-19 outbreak hit the markets, as he describes in a video posted by Yahoo Finance from early 2019.

That is quite scary when you think of it, and if I was heavily invested in stocks, I would be terrified. Luckily, several assets in the All Seasons Portfolio and a balanced portfolio will protect against such downturn. You will find a link to Ray Dalio's book Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises (2018) at the end of this post. If you have not read this already - it is now more relevant than ever.

Even though it is interesting, that is not the main topic for the day. Instead, we will be discussing EUR Hedged investing.

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Portfolio Update – May 2020 – What happens now? Uncertainty after Covid-19

  • Summary of April 2020 in the economy
  • The most important lessons from the coronavirus crisis to remember and to prepare for future crises
  • My All Seasons Portfolio is up 3.93% month by month. Total value now over EUR 4,000
  • Bought Stocks and Commodities this month, and switched Long-Term Government Bonds ETF to US Treasuries instead of global bonds

Welcome back for another monthly update of the All Seasons Portfolio blog. This time around, we have had to digest another month in lock down and April 2020 could perhaps be remembered for us all wanting to forget it.

Anyway, I hope that both you and your families and loved ones have stayed in good health, and that you haven't been too restless at home.

On my end, things have been hectic at work with long days, which is not surprising when you work with loans to corporates. These are interesting times but I am holding up. Hope we will soon be seeing an end of the tunnel. However, I am very pleased and humbled to still have job, as I know not everyone have been that lucky. And at least in Sweden, we have been able to exercise outside, but if our government have employed the right strategy through the outbreak, I am not the right person to take a stance on. All I know is that I have been working from home the past 8 weeks and been avoiding to go to the bars (which cannot be said for all my countrymen). Just hoping that we all will soon be able to get these crazy times behind us.

These are crazy times in our daily lives and for the economy, it has not been uneventful on the financial markets either. It feels quite difficult to summarize everything that goes on when so much happens. It also feels like there is so much going on that you lose the sense of time, like did the WTI crude oil flash crash happen 3 weeks ago or 3 months ago? It seems s hard to keep track of time when stuck at home.

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Insight – Why would anyone in their right mind buy Government Bonds with negative yield?!

  • Yields are low and negative due to central banks' efforts to spur on the economic growth
  • There are still buyers of assets with negative yield, such as institutional investors
  • Government bonds are a liquid asset held instead of cash or other assets with risk for decrease in value, such as stocks in a bear market
  • Government Bonds make up 55% of the All Seasons Portfolio, and at the bottom, I summarize my ETFs

Soon, I have one full year’s history of the All Seasons Portfolio since starting in December last year with my first investment. I have come a long way since, starting from zero and now having accumulated a portfolio valued at EUR 3,700 in only 11 months. The main takeaway, which you should adopt, is to be disciplined and to continuously set aside an amount every month to invest. That will quickly accumulate, and you will also have that money working for you with compound interest.

As I already mentioned in the relevant blog post, in November, I made an addition on the Long-Term Government Bond part of the portfolio. This time, I purchased the iShares $ Treasury Bond 20+yr UCITS ETF USD (Dist) (EUR).

When posting about buying government bond ETFs during this first year, one particular question has always been brought up. It is a very valid question considering the current market conditions with low and negative interest rates. Why should you include government bonds in the portfolio, who in their right mind buys and holds bonds with negative interest and why do they do so?

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