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12 Investment Must Reads This Week

Ethereum prices are rising with the anticipation that spot ETFs could emerge in the space. Opportunity Zone fundraising waned in 2023, according to data from Novogradac. These are among the investment must reads we found this week for wealth advisors.

  1. BlackRock ETF enthusiasm helps drive ethereum price to 22-month high “The price of the second-largest crypto by market cap, ethereum, has hit its highest milestone in more than 22 months, reaching $3,000 earlier today. This momentum is likely due in part to enthusiasm for potential spot ETH exchange-traded funds (ETFs) from numerous applicants, including BlackRock.” (The Street)
  2. Opportunity Zone Fundraising Continued Freefall in 2023 “At the close of the year, the opportunity zones equity raised and tracked by Novogradac amounted to $37.62 billion, an increase from $34.09 billion at the end of 2022. As of Dec. 31, 2023, Novogradac was tracking 1,874 qualified opportunity funds, with 1,461 of them reporting a specific equity amount. That’s 213 more qualified opportunity funds being tracked than a year earlier, with 187 more of them reporting an equity amount.” (The DI Wire)
  3. Asset owners look beyond specialists for private markets – Coalition Greenwich “Traditional long-only managers building up private markets capabilities should find room to compete with private markets specialists for the flood of institutional money now moving into private equity and credit, infrastructure and real estate, according to a Feb. 13 report by Coalition Greenwich.” (Pensions & Investments)
  4. Family Offices Plan to Increase Alts Allocations “Family offices already hold a significant allocation to alternatives compared with other institutional investors. In 2022, family offices held 42% of their assets in alts, compared with 29% for foundations, 28% for high-net-worth individuals and 23% for pensions. As of 2023’s survey, of their assets in alternatives.” (Chief Investment Officer)
  5. The SEC Small Business Capital Formation Advisory Committee to Address Definition of an Accredited Investor Once Again “The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Small Business Capital Formation Advisory Committee (SBCFAC)will reconvene once again to discuss the definition of an Accredited Investor. At the same meeting, the Committee will review the status of the IPO market in the US along with several other topics.” (Crowdfund Insider)
  6. Bitcoin ETFs See Record $2.4B Weekly Inflows; BlackRock's IBIT Leads: CoinShares “Allocations to the newly approved U.S.-based spot bitcoin ETFs overwhelmed the $623 million outflows from Grayscale's Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), the incumbent fund that converted into an ETF structure. BlackRock's IBIT and Fidelity's FBTC attracted $1.6 billion and $648 million over the past week, respectively.” (CoinDesk)
  7. Investor Groups Dig into US Farmland “However, only between 1% and 3% of the $3.4 trillion agri-land market is owned by investment funds, according to industry estimates. Family-owned and operated businesses account for 95% of all U.S. farms, according to the most recent data from the Department of Agriculture.” (FundFire)
  8. Hodes Weill’s Hodes: 10% fund reserves are now ‘insufficient’ “Most assets need an additional 15% to 20% in reserves to address refinancing issues, according to the advisory firm’s co-founder.” (PERE)
  9. Stubborn Inflation Keeps These Inverse Bond ETFs Elevated “The bond markets have been witnessing record issuance as investors may be sensing that they better take advantage of yields now before rate cuts eventually happen. While the CPI did make an unexpected increase, the big picture reveals that inflation is at least rising at a temperate pace.” (VettaFi)
  10. Treat Alternatives Like Cuisines, Not Distinct Assets “Since they are not publicly traded instruments, constructing adequately diversified portfolios can be challenging. Alternatives are difficult to trade. Their prices aren’t listed on transparent exchanges. Buyers and sellers must first be found and then prices individually negotiated.” (CAIA)
  11. BlackRock Expands Proxy Voting Capabilities to Individual Investors “BlackRock introduced Voting Choice in 2021 beginning with certain institutional clients, including pension funds, insurance companies and corporations, in certain accounts managed in the US and UK. BlackRock has been working to expand the program, with the firm announcing last year that it planned to extend voting choice to individual investors.” (ESG Today)
  12. 4 Reasons Advisors Should Pay Attention to AI “While AI won’t replace human advisors, it can be a powerful tool for increasing efficiency. AI can automate tasks such as financial planning, appointment scheduling, portfolio construction, and more.” (Morningstar)
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