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Thursday, 13 June 2024 17:59

A New Trend in Private REITs

While commercial properties values have struggled mightily this year KKR is trying to instill shareholder confidence in its $1.2 billion private real estate investment trust. KREST’s struggles are not in isolation as many REITS have faced a two-year downturn due to rising interest rates and decreased investor capital. 


To counteract this, KKR announced a shareholder priority plan involving the potential cancellation of up to 7.7 million KREST shares if the net asset value per share drops below $27 by June 2027. This move would increase per-share value by reducing the number of outstanding shares. Additionally, KKR affiliates will inject $50 million of new capital into KREST, demonstrating their commitment to the trust and the real estate market.


 KKR's strategy mirrors actions taken by Blackstone last year, aiming to protect non-KKR shareholders from short-term declines while allowing them to benefit from potential real estate recoveries.

Finsum: While commercial real estate has most likely bottomed out, its still tough to say if it will ever recover or if this is the new normal. 

Thursday, 13 June 2024 17:53

Thematic Model Portfolios Still Trending

Fint Invest is the latest digital platform offering model portfolios tailored to retail investors, built around investment themes being developed by IronMarket Wealth. Fint Invest allows users to choose portfolios focused on climate change, disruptive technologies, or eSports, with risk levels determined by Oxford Risk’s assessment. 


Managed by IronMarket Wealth, these portfolios come with an annual fee of 1%, covering all associated costs. Co-founders of Algo-Chain and IronMarket Wealth's Wes Wilkes lead the investment committee, aiming to help the next generation invest more effectively. 


The app's portfolios, fully invested in ETFs, provide cost-effective and efficient options for thematic investing. Co-founders Curtis and AJ Pritchard, famous from Love Island and Strictly Come Dancing, are spearheading the marketing efforts to engage younger investors through educational initiatives with universities and schools.

Finsum: Celebrity pairing is interesting and could bring a new generation of investors particularly with these themes at their core. 

Thursday, 13 June 2024 17:45

Follow the Yield in Emerging Markets

Pakistan and Kenya have made some of the quickest economic turnarounds in recent memory for emerging market economies and as a result investors are buying up their bonds rapidly. This is part of a larger trend as previously neglected debts from countries like Egypt, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Kenya are now appealing again, driven by interest rate hikes and currency market liberalizations.


With falling interest rates in mature markets, these relatively higher yields are enticing. In Turkey, high interest rates have drawn investors back, and Egypt's debt has seen significant foreign investment, supported by currency devaluation and free-floating exchange rates. Investors view these reforms as promising, despite risks such as volatility and potential capital controls.


Potentially prolonged high US interest rates could challenge these markets, particularly for countries with high debt interest payments. Nonetheless, some investors still find local currency bonds more attractive than dollar-denominated debt, seeing the current situation as the beginning of more gains.

Finsum: It might not be too late to chase the yield curve in some of these emerging market economies. 

Deferred annuity sales increased by nearly 19% in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, according to Wink, Inc. This surge sets the stage for annuities to potentially exceed $400 billion in sales this year. 


Sheryl Moore, CEO of Wink, attributes this growth to the upcoming fiduciary rule implementation on September 23, which is driving a "fire-sale mentality" among producers and carriers. The new Retirement Security Rule will extend the Department of Labor's fiduciary duty to most annuity sales. 


Total first-quarter annuity sales, including immediate and deferred income annuities, reached $105.7 billion, with notable performers like Athene USA leading deferred annuity sales. Wink also noted strong performance in various annuity types, with record sales in indexed and structured annuities, indicating robust market activity ahead of regulatory changes.

Finsum: This spike could be sustained by falling interest rates that increase annuity demand. 

Thursday, 13 June 2024 10:01

Newest Michelin Star Restaurants of 2024

In 2024, the Michelin Guide saw new additions including ten Bib Gourmands, four Green Stars, and six One Stars in the Golden state alone. This year, California continues to impress with fifteen new entries. LA County features standout spots such as Manohar’s Delhi Palace for North Indian cuisine and Elf Cafe for Mediterranean fare. 


Cedro Italian Restaurant in Newbury Park offers authentic handmade pastas, while SoCal’s taco scene welcomes Lola Gaspar. But it’s not just the West Coast that is popping with starts, New York which already boasts over 300 Michelin Guide restaurants has some new additions. 


Thai food fans will find themselves delighted by a family inspired restaurant Bangkok Super Club from Chef Max Wittawat. Meanwhile Barrio is a newly added Puerto Rican restraint featuring vibrant colors to match its delicious meals. 

Finsum: The Michelin Guide hosts a variety of restaurants to impress clients across the culinary spectrum. 

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