(1) At January 31, 2017, based on the most recently published annual reports for Harvard, Stanford and Yale.
Index Associations and Definitions. All returns and investment characteristics discussed in this report are based on the indexes below. An investor cannot invest directly in an index and index performance does not reflect the deduction of any fees, expenses or taxes.
Unless otherwise noted, asset classes referenced in this viewpoint are represented by the following indexes: Commodities: Through July 1998: S&P GSCI, a composite index of commodity sector returns representing an unleveraged, long-only investment in commodity futures that is broadly diversified across the spectrum of commodities. Thereafter: Bloomberg Commodity Total Return Index, a broadly diversified index composed of commodities traded on U.S. exchanges, with the exception of aluminum, nickel and zinc, which trade on the London Metals Exchange. Global infrastructure: Through July 2008: 50/50 blend of Datastream World Pipelines Index and Datastream World Gas, Water & Multi-Utilities Index, which encompass global indexes of companies in their respective sectors, compiled by Thomson Reuters Datastream. Thereafter: Dow Jones Brookfield Global Infrastructure Index, which measures the stock performance of publicly listed infrastructure companies. The index intends to measure all sectors of the infrastructure market. The UBS Global 50/50 Infrastructure & Utilities Index tracks a 50% exposure to the global developed market infrastructure sector and a 50% exposure to the global developed market utilities sector, and is net of dividend withholding taxes. Global real estate: Through February 2005: FTSE NAREIT Equity REIT Index, an unmanaged, market-capitalization-weighted index of all publicly traded U.S. REITs that invest predominantly in the equity ownership of real estate, not including timber or infrastructure. Thereafter: FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Developed Real Estate Index (net), an unmanaged marketweighted total return index which consists of many companies from developed markets who derive more than half of their revenue from property-related activities. Global stocks: MSCI World Index, a free-float-adjusted market-capitalization-weighted index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed markets. MLPs: Alerian MLP Index, a float-adjusted, market-capitalization-weighted index that consists of the 50 most prominent large- and mid-cap energy master limited partnerships. Natural resource equities: Through May 2008: 50/50 blend of Datastream World Oil & Gas Index and Datastream World Basic Materials Index. Thereafter: S&P Global Natural Resources Index, which includes 90 of the largest publicly traded companies in natural resources and commodities businesses that meet specific investability requirements, offering investors diversified, liquid and investable equity exposure across three primary commodity-related sectors: Agribusiness, Energy and Metals & Mining. U.S. bonds: Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond Index, an index which covers the U.S. investment-grade fixed-rate bond market, including government, corporate securities, mortgage pass-through securities and asset-backed securities. U.S. REITs: FTSE NAREIT Equity REIT Index (see above). U.S. stocks: S&P 500 Index, an unmanaged index of 500 large-capitalization, publicly traded stocks representing a variety of industries. U.S. Treasuries: BofA Merrill Lynch U.S. 7–10 Year Treasury Index, composed of U.S. Treasury notes with a 7–10 year maturity.
Important Disclosures. Data quoted represents past performance, which is no guarantee of future results. The information presented in this commentary does not reflect the performance of any fund or account managed or serviced by Cohen & Steers, and there is no guarantee that investors will experience the type of performance reflected above. The views and opinions in the preceding commentary are as of the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee that any market forecast made in this commentary will be realized. This material represents our assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time, should not be relied upon as investment advice, does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell a security, commodity interest or other investment and is not intended to predict or depict performance of any investment.
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Risks of Investing in Real Assets. A real assets strategy is subject to the risk that its asset allocations may not achieve the desired risk-return characteristic, underperform other similar investment strategies or cause an investor to lose money. The risks of investing in REITs are similar to those associated with direct investments in real estate securities. Property values may fall due to increasing vacancies, declining rents resulting from economic, legal, tax, political or technological developments, lack of liquidity, limited diversification and sensitivity to certain economic factors such as interest rate changes and market recessions. An investment in commodity-linked derivative instruments may be subject to greater volatility than investments in traditional securities, particularly if the instruments involve leverage. Infrastructure issuers may be subject to adverse economic occurrences, government regulation, operational or other mishaps, tariffs and changes in tax laws and accounting standards. Foreign securities involve special risks, including currency fluctuation and lower liquidity. The market value of securities of natural resource companies may be affected by numerous factors, including events occurring in nature, inflationary pressures and international politics. Because the strategy invests significantly in natural resource companies, there is the risk that the strategy will perform poorly during a downturn in the natural resource sector.
Risks of Investing in Commodities. The value of commodity-linked derivative instruments may be affected by changes in overall market movements, commodity index volatility, changes in interest rates, or factors affecting a particular industry or commodity, such as drought, floods, weather, livestock disease, embargoes, tariffs and international economic, political and regulatory developments. The use of derivatives presents risks different from and possibly greater than the risks associated with investing directly in traditional securities. Among the risks presented are market risk, credit risk, counterparty risk, leverage risk and liquidity risk. The use of derivatives can lead to losses because of adverse movements in the price or value of the underlying asset, index or rate, which may be magnified by certain features of the derivatives.
Futures Trading Is Volatile, Highly Leveraged and May Be Illiquid. This is not an inducement to buy or sell commodity interests. Investments in commodity futures contracts and options on commodity futures contracts have a high degree of price variability and are subject to rapid and substantial price changes. Such investments could incur significant losses. There can be no assurance that the options strategy will be successful. The use of options on commodity futures contracts is to enhance risk-adjusted total returns. The use of options, however, may not provide any, or only partial, protection for market declines. The return performance of commodity futures contracts may not parallel the performance of the commodities or indexes that serve as the basis for the options they buy or sell; this basis risk may reduce overall returns.
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