Tuesday, 14 November 2023 14:00

Can Private Real Estate Diversify Fixed Income Portfolios

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Based on research conducted by PGIM’s David Blanchett, Head of Retirement Research, and Sara Shean, the Global Head of Defined Contribution, there is a strong case that private real estate debt can be an effective source of diversification for fixed income portfolios, while also modestly boosting returns. It’s of increasing salience given that fixed income portfolios are once again a meaningful source of income for investors.


Blanchett and Shean conducted an analysis of various asset classes to determine how they would have improved the return and risk profile of a fixed income portfolio. They used the Bloomberg US Aggregate Bond Index as their benchmark. In addition to this benchmark and real estate debt, they also included emerging market debt, commercial mortgage-backed securities, leveraged loans, and high-yield bonds.


Interestingly, the benchmark had an annual return of 4% with a standard deviation of 4%. In contrast, private real estate debt had an annualized return of 6% with a similar standard deviation. The analysis also gives insight into the optimal weights of various asset classes in terms of impacting the efficiency of a bond portfolio. The biggest takeaway is that allocations to real estate debt led to a positive impact on risk and expected returns, leading to a higher risk-adjusted performance. 

Finsum: Research conducted by PGIM shows that private real estate debt can boost the risk and return profile of fixed income portfolios.


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