Real Estate versus Financial Asset Returns and Inflation: Can a P* Trading Strategy Improve REIT Investment Performance?
The ability of a financial or real asset to provide a rate of return above the rate of inflation is crucial to investors. The financial literature on the inflation-hedging effectiveness of various investments suggests that real estate acts as a hedge against inflation on a period-by-period basis, while financial assets do not. Given this, an investor who could accurately forecast changes in inflation, and therefore alter his/her investment portfolio between real estate and financial assets, should be able to significantly improve portfolio returns. Recently, a new method of measuring potential inflation has been developed by the Federal Reserve Board. Dubbed P*, it relates long-run spending in the economy to long- run output and gives an implied value for future inflation. In this study, the accuracy of P* in forecasting prices is compared to conventional forecasts of inflation. The P* variable is then used to generate a decision rule for investors in terms of holding financial assets (which performs well in periods of low or falling inflation) and real estate (which has been identified as an asset that behaves as an effective hedge against inflation). The results for this strategy are then contrasted with the performance of selected assets under a simple buy-and -hold strategy.
Volume (Year): 10 (1995)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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