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Investing: ‘What ifs’ and ‘maybes’ lose out to long-term planning

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Back in August 2011, I posted Don’t Panic. plan

I took a look at investor psychology in the face of negative sentiment on the markets. In It was the best of times (for dividend investors), I outlined how well dividend-payers did over the last few years. The markets have done very well for the dividend-centric.

So what’s an investor to do, now?

Interesting U.S. market stats

Bob Pisani, of CNBC, points out some interesting information regrading U.S. markets:

Most notable among the trends was a near-record pace of fund flows last week into equity funds.

Stock mutuals saw $19 billion come in, the highest since 2008 and the fourth-biggest in the 12-year history of tracking the data, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

The latest American Association of Individual Investors survey registered a 46.4 percent bullish reading during the same period, well above historical averages, while those expecting the market to be lower in six months fell to 26.9 percent.

Finally, the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, a popular measure of market fear, is at a subdued sub-14. A declining VIX usually means rising stock prices.

(Read More: Why VIX’s Recent Plunge May Be Bad for Stocks)

About the only areas showing caution were safe-haven money market funds, which saw assets grow to $2.72 trillion on an influx from institutions, and commodities, which had outflows of $570 million.

The most popular reason among traders for all the optimism is basic relief that the U.S. made it through the “fiscal cliff” scare relatively unscathed.

If that’s the case, the looming debt-ceiling battle and a likely lackluster earnings period could offer perilous counterweights.

So, what’s an investor to do?

The reality is, if you know who you are as an investor, and more importantly, where you want to be, none of this should rattle you. But it should make you think. Trading the media is something some do, and some do it very successfully, but most don’t. And that’s why investors must plan.

When planning for a year, plant corn. When planning for a decade, plant trees. When planning for life, train and educate people.

— Chinese proverb

Warren Buffett plans. Why not you? After all, planning is a form of self-reflection and self-education.

The metric of the past and planning for the future

It may be wise for investors to reassess their investing plans, to decide if their plan is capable of meeting their goals and then have the courage to sail on the course they’ve charted. If past is prologue, then the last couple of years have rewarded the longer-term planners for wading through the ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybes’ and sticking to the fundamentals.

The market hasn’t had a 10 per cent correction in a while in the U.S. While we all watch, we have to wonder at the market’s resilience while remembering why we hold assets that act as ‘insurance’ against revaluations. Any correction should be incorporated into your plan and taken advantage of. But a 2 or 3 per cent drop from an all-time high is hardly a correction. Having some cash on hand when markets have hit recent highs is rarely a bad idea.

The market hasn’t seen a traditional correction in almost three years. Majority sentiment would have seemed against this phenomenon three years ago. We will have a correction at some point. No one can be sure of the degree of the next correction. But does this alter your planning?

Planning empowers you in the face of ‘peril’

It’s best if you incorporate the possibility of a correction into your plan. Because, at some point, the stock markets will correct.

In a world gone into overdrive, where the short-term seems like the long-term to some, authentic long-term planning may be the most valuable commodity.

The markets are like anything else with respect to planning. And the markets are one of the best barometers of human psychology. ‘Perilous counterweights’ need to be part of your planning.

We’ve all heard that in the long-term risk gets reduced by time-in-the-market. In the meantime, knowing your tolerance for risk is crucial. What we can learn from the period from August 2011 to now is that risk happens in so-called ‘safe’ investments, too.

The broad markets have outperformed cash. At some point, markets will correct. Maybe that process has started. Markets correct. This is part of what makes a bull market healthy. And corrections are the reason why we should use proper asset allocation in our portfolios.

One thing is sure. It was better to be in-the-market than it was to be in cash in the time period we looked at above.

No one owns the patent on the future. No one ever knows the exact nature of the next correction. It’ll be interesting to see what the next six months holds …

A plan we can live with is part of what keeps people happy as investors over the long-term. So that we can sleep and dream of sheep.

Want to contact me? Go here.

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It was the best of times for dividend investors

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dividend In my last post, I discussed the complicated world of dividend payments.

(It may help to refer to my last post on dividend-payers and its predecessor before reading this new one.)

Continuing from the previous, when it comes to dividend payments, what we have to remember is:

Since the dividend payments have already been paid and taxed (if held outside a registered account), then your adjusted cost base (ACB) for accounting purposes, and, more importantly, for paying taxes on your investments, already takes the dividend into consideration.

What the charts and ACB don’t tell you

When you look at charts, since they don’t add the dividend amounts on to the listed return, it looks like you made less than you did. You have to take the return on the investment plus the dividend it paid to get a real picture of your investment.

In a great year, like this last year, it doesn’t matter as much, but in years where the stock only appreciates a little, say 1 or 2 per cent, a 4 per cent dividend looks great.

If you bought 100 shares, originally, and reinvested your dividend payment each time it was made, those payments will become part of your ACB. Let’s use a very simple example to review how this works.

Okay, one more time, from the top

If you held 100 shares and received four dividend payments that equalled 1 share each, you’d now hold more shares:

100 + 1 + 1 + 1 +1 = 104 shares

If the share / unit price were $62, your investment would be: 104 shares x $62 = $6,448. The dividends paid in 2013 will be taxable. In the example above, three of the dividend payments will be taxable on your 2013 tax statement while one of them would have been paid the year before since it was paid in 2012. (Again, this is only true if the investment is held in a non-registered account.)

In Paid for faith and paid to wait: Have you thought about this regarding your dividend paying investments?, I discussed what happens with dividend-paying stocks. Key is the way dividends are accounted for (in a non-registered account, e.g., outside of an RRSP or TFSA).

When a dividend is paid (refer back to the example above), it becomes part of your cost when reinvested because you have bought new shares or units. So, in the above example, where you hold 104 shares, all of those shares are you’re ACB.

$6,448 becomes your ACB. Not the $6,200 of your original investment. The $248 of dividend payments are added to your cost.

This works in your favour at tax time:

If held outside of a registered account, the dividend payment is tax preferred and you’ll pay a lower rate of tax than if it were normal income. For example, you’ll pay a higher tax rate on your salary, on GICs and other deposit investments which pay out normal income.

Let’s take a quick look at history … Way back in December 2011, I posted about the favourable climate for dividend-payers – especially U.S. dividend stocks. You’d be a happy investor right now if you’d made investments in quality dividend stocks back then — U.S. or Canadian.

It was the best of times (for dividend investor returns): the irrefutable metric of the past

As always, the future is unwritten, but the past is fact because we can measure it. I began this series of posts a while ago. If we update it to the time of writing, we find:

One of the most conservative of indices, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) returned approximately 33 per cent since that time. The broader S&P 500 returned about 47 per cent (although the index does have a lower dividend payout and is somewhat ‘growthier’). Still, it was indeed one of the best of times for dividend-payers.

Royal Bank? About 62 per cent.

Even more impressive? Those returns quoted above don’t include dividend payments. Your return including those payments would’ve been even higher.

ry inx djia

Here’s a chart showing dividend activity for Royal Bank over the same period of time:

ry div

For Canadian investors, it might be interesting to consider that the Canadian dollar dropped in value over this time as well. If you held U.S. investments, the strength in the U.S. dollar added to your return on those investments. Since its recent peak in July 2011, the Canadian dollar has dropped from $1.05 U.S. to about 90 cents U.S. (a drop of approximately 16.7 per cent if you want your 90 cents to grow back to 1.05).

The change in currency added about 6 per cent to the DJIA’s return for Canadian investors and about 8.6 per cent to the S&P 500.

Not bad.

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Written by johnrondina

February 24, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Paid for faith and paid to wait: Have you thought about this regarding your dividend-paying investments?

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In Help! I can’t understand if I’ve made money with my dividend-paying investments! I blogged about the difficulty some investors have with dividend payments. What are dividends? How do they function?

Using the dividend data from my previous post …

If I made money, why doesn’t it show?

It does. You have to understand what’s happening when you get paid that dividend.

(You might want to review the previous post above.)

Here’s what it looks like:

dividendEach time your dividend of .63 cents per share is made (.63 cents x 100 shares = $63), your $63 dividend payment is subtracted from the share or unit price of the investment. If the share price was $62 when the dividend was issued, and the dividend was issued at .63 cents then the share or unit price is now:

Share price – dividend issued

New share price:

$62 – .63 cents = $61.37

The new share per unit price is $61.37 ex-dividend (after the dividend payment is made).

Paid for faith = Paid to wait

Some people have trouble understanding this change in the stock or unit price of the investment. The point is, the company has paid you for your faith in investing in it. (In our time of give-it-to-me-right-this-second, faith in the long-term future is a sadly diminished concept.)

The company has also paid (most probably) millions of other shareholders, so the share or unit price must go down by the amount paid out as a dividend. This affects your Adjusted Cost Base (ACB).

The dividend has been paid to you. You’ve already received it. It’s your choice whether you reinvest it into that same investment (over the long-term a good strategy) or take it in the form of cash and buy another investment with it — or spend it. However, spending this cash goes against one of the mantras of investing, which is, reinvesting your capital for the long-term.

What are your goals?

Cost is relative

Because you were paid the dividend amount, and if that amount is held outside of a registered account, e.g., an RRSP, the dividend payment becomes part of your cost:

$62 + a dividend payment of .63 cents as above makes your ACB: 62 + .63 = $62.63.

If you received four dividend payments of .63 cents that would be 4 x .63 = $2.52. Now your ACB would be $62 + $2.52 =  $64.52.

Time in

This is where people get confused. Because the ACB includes the dividend payouts, the payouts that are recent skew your cost base. The new dividend investment hasn’t had time to make much money, and so, it reduces the “look” of the performance of your shares.

Sometimes, especially if it’s a new investment, it looks like you’ve made less than you have.

Remember:

  • That dividend payment may add to your ACB, but it is money you “made”, money you didn’t have before

When you have a newer investment or in a declining market, this effect is amplified. But if you have a quality investment, this is short-term thinking. Resist short-term thought.

Declining market? New investment?

  • Your dividends are being paid out, and you’re buying at cheaper prices if you’re repurchasing stock / getting new units of a fund during a correction (the difficulty is trying to understand when the correction will end)
  • With a new investment, you haven’t had much time to profit, so the dividend payments are going to add to the ACB and make it look like you’ve made less than you have unless you remember you received that dividend payment every month, quarter or year
  • If you project out over three, five or ten years, you get a lot better idea of how those extra shares you reinvested in through your dividends increased over time (assuming an increasing market)
  • Even if you received your dividend as cash, you still got something you didn’t have before

Think like a business owner when it comes to your investments.

Life, business, investing – it all moves in cycles. Have the patience to wait, and the wisdom to filter out hype and noise.

Like the recurring circle of kids on their way back to school in fall, there are certain near-immutable laws and cycles that investors must consider.

Whatever the stock does, the dividend payment’s in your pocket

When investors sit down to look at their statements, even if their accounts are registered, the ACB appears to make it look like they haven’t made money in the short-term. But often, they have.

Remember, if the investment paid out a dividend this year of, say, 4 per cent, you made that 4 per cent. The investment would have to drop 4 per cent (of course, there are management fees to mutual funds and ETFs, and you have to subtract those*) for you to break even.

To sum up:

  • Remember, the share price will be reduced every time a dividend payment was made by the amount of the dividend payment (but you still received that payment in cash or through the purchase of more shares)
  • You now own more shares because of the dividend payments
  • Because you own more shares, if the price of the investment continues to go up, those additional shares will increase in value

It’s important to note that during real dividend payments (rather than our example), there may be more variation because of the numbers involved, but this example will give you an idea of how dividend payments operate and what a stock or unit price looks like ex-dividend (after the dividend has been paid).

In a year like this last, the returns have been excellent (the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 are up over:

  • 26 and 30 per cent respectively since the low of June, 2012, and that’s without including dividend payments**).

You can expect to have made money even on some of the new money invested through the new dividend payments into new shares or units.

In my next post in this dividend series, get an example of what this looks like, including a chart.

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* Mutual funds subtract these fees before flowing gains to investors
** At the time of writing, and, in U.S. dollars

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Written by johnrondina

September 19, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Help! I can’t understand if I’ve made any money with my dividend-paying investments!

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dividend

Having difficulty understanding if you’ve made money with a dividend-paying investment?

So many investors look at their statement when it arrives and think:

I haven’t made any money! (Cue gnashing of teeth.)

But is it true?

Let’s say you hold investments that are of a dividend-paying nature. How do they operate?

Well, whether you’re investment is a mutual fund, an ETF or a stock, if it pays dividends, and you don’t really understand how dividends work, you’ll be confused.

Paid to wait

First, it’s important to separate your original investment from your dividend payments (distributions).

Dividend payments might be:

  • Monthly
  • Quarterly

or,

  • Yearly

Most dividends come in quarterly payments.

In this example, I’m going to use Royal Bank, a widely-held Canadian bank stock. It doesn’t matter what dividend-payer you use. It’s also the same with an ETF, a stock or a mutual fund. It’s only the terminology that changes (e.g. shareholder or unitholder).

Royal Bank pays a dividend of .63 cents quarterly. If you hold 100 shares of Royal Bank, you’ll receive a payment of approximately .63 cents four times per year per share.

Why “approximately”? Because depending on the health of the company, it may raise or lower the dividend. For example, Royal Bank raised it’s dividend payments this year. It’s first two dividend payments were .60 cents, and the last two were .63 cents.

To make things easy, let’s assume Royal Bank had made four dividend payments of .63 cents:

4 x .63 = 2.52

In my example, the dividend payment would be $2.52 per year. If the stock were valued at $62.00, that yearly dividend payment would be equal to 4.06 per cent (or one year’s dividend payments). Our example is very close to Royal Bank’s dividend yield (currently 3.94 per cent).

Let’s imagine the Royal Bank illustration above was a mutual fund. If the fund paid a dividend of $2.52, the dividend payment amount would be subtracted from the unit price each quarter.

Each time the dividend was paid (.63 cents), the unit price of the fund would be subtracted by the dividend payment.

Why?

But wait! Wasn’t there a dividend payment?

Because your Adjusted Cost Base (ACB) changes when dividends are paid out.  If the unit price of the fund did nothing, for example, ended the year at the same price it began it, your investment would look like it hadn’t made any money. Superficially, at least.

But it would have, because, when you receive the dividend, you get more shares / units. Your 100 original shares will increase in number.

Didn’t that fund pay $2.52 for the year? And wasn’t that payment supposed to be 4.06 per cent? And so, didn’t you, as an investor, make over 4 per cent on your investment?

Yes.

And every time the dividend was paid out, didn’t you get additional shares in your investment?

Yes.

But the four dividend payments, when made, count as dividend income if they’re held outside of a registered account. The dividend is reinvested into the fund. So, when your payment of .63 cents per share is made, for accounting purposes, it’s considered new money and a new investment.

In a future post, I’ll give you an example of what this looks like, and a key error less-experienced investors make in understanding their investments.

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Written by johnrondina

August 27, 2013 at 5:35 pm

One sector is the loneliest number when it comes to investing

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Will all the gold that glitters glitter less?

Will all the gold that glitters glitter less?

My last post, One stock is the loneliest number when it comes to investing, made the case for why you shouldn’t own one stock as an investor. Diversification is an important part of your investment planning.

Similarly, today’s activity in the gold market, and really, the last few years, has demonstrated why single sectors present significant dangers to investors who overweight them.

Gold is having a massive down day. It’s dropped nearly 10 per cent as of this writing — in one day — the most since the early 1980s.

The writing was on the wall a long time ago. In Gold riot, I discussed why gold had much risk built into it for investors, especially when few were talking about this risk.

Here’s a quote from Warren Buffett as posted on my blog from a few years ago:

Buffet on gold:

“(Gold) gets dug out of the ground in Africa, or someplace. Then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility. Anyone watching from Mars would be scratching their head.”

Ah, the Ziggy Stardust gold analysis …

In Fortune, Buffett recently said:

“You could take all the gold that’s ever been mined, and it would fill a cube 67 feet in each direction. For what that’s worth at current gold prices, you could buy all — not some — all of the farmland in the United States,” Buffett said. “Plus, you could buy 10 Exxon Mobils, plus have $1 trillion of walking-around money. Or you could have a big cube of metal. Which would you take? Which is going to produce more value?”

A very, very interesting illustration …

Anyone who paid attention to the wisdom above, to the valuations that Buffett drew attention to, would have known that there was huge risk in gold.

Forget all the reasons you’ve heard over the last few years for why gold was a great buy. History has proven that reasoning wrong.

GLD

The movement of gold as reflected by the SPDR GOLD TRUST (GLD)

As in many things, now that the stratospheric valuation in gold has been beaten down badly, gold is cheaper (down almost 18 per cent year-over-year). What the future holds is unknown. But what hasn’t changed is the following:

  • Single sectors expose you to great risk if you haven’t built a well-diversified portfolio
  • “Hot money” moves fast and takes few prisoners when it leaves a sector

Gold may be much cheaper now than it was a few years ago, but gold is only a compelling buy if the future shows it to have been cheap. Meanwhile, are there other companies out there that are actively engaged in producing goods or services that will have a better chance of creating value in the future?

By way of comparison, from gold’s peak a few years ago, the returns on dividend-payers in the U.S., Canada and globally look spectacular. The “fear trade” (buying gold) has been a poor investment.

Markets will correct. It’s inevitable. You can do your part protecting yourself by making sure you have a diversified portfolio.

Do you?

Click here for more about bonds/fixed income investments.

Click below for more about asset allocation and reallocation strategies:

Get the balance right

A simple way to arrive at the right asset allocation for your portfolio

Plan like a pension fund manager when it comes to your investment portfolio

Let’s think about assets

Asset allocation: Diversification is king

Click here for articles about dividends/dividend-payers.

Click here for a collection of articles about investing.

Follow me on Twitter, by RSS or sign up to receive posts via email, top sidebar to the right.

//

Written by johnrondina

April 15, 2013 at 2:35 pm

One stock is the loneliest number when it comes to investing

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recordThe U.S. markets have had a great run this year. They may be entering a phase of correction as I write.

Some stocks affect markets more than others.

Falling back to Earth

Remember Apple — everybody’s darling? Have a look at a post  from back in April, 2012.

What goes up spectacularly, can come down spectacularly

Over one year, Apple fell nearly 40 per cent from its peak. While Apple may have done very well long-term, if you held Apple over the last year, you’re investment dropped 40 per cent from its high. It acted as a drag on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq just as it lifted both during its run. That’s 40 per cent of your investment or very nearly the amount the broad markets came down during the financial crisis, an amount that caused many investors to rethink their risk tolerance.

One, is indeed, the loneliest number

You should never hold just one stock, no matter how well it’s done. Sure, you can do very well, but what some forget is that your risk goes into the stratosphere with your investment.

Apple as case history

Apple’s downturn presents a strong argument for diversification.

Steve Job’s heirs were being advised to sell Apple and diversify even before Apple hit an all-time high. But that story didn’t capture much attention.

One is the riskiest number

The reality is, that in investing, one is the riskiest number. There’s a reason most investment professionals own anywhere from 30 to 300 stocks or more in a broadly based portfolio. Broad indices may even go as high as 500 stocks (S&P 500) or 1,000 or more (Russel 1000).

Grow slow**

And this is why diversification is so important. While it’s true everyone’s a winner while they’re winning, it’s also true that spectacular runs in individual stocks can come to an end.

Apple’s future? Unknown. But principles of diversification are well-known, tested over time, and retested. There are aberrations, but even better, investors sleep at night when they know their risk tolerance.

As Apple stalled, the broad market accelerated

We may be overdue for a correction. U.S.-based indices like The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) hit a record while the broad S&P 500 fell from its nominal high recently. Both indices have performed very well.

Both indices were bargains after ten years of relative underperformance, especially compared to the Canadian market and a soaring Canadian dollar. After the financial crisis, and the ensuing market correction, few wanted U.S. stocks (or any equities). But they were extremely cheap.

Is big better?

As money came out of Apple, the broad markets took off. We’re not just talking big … Apple had reached monolithic proportions. Articles like this are often a warning to investors. A warning that often goes unheard.

Can’t you just see Tim Cook breaststroking through cashmoney? I can.

— The Atlantic

Was Apple absorbing a lot of investment capital? Considering the huge cash position Apple held (over $100 billion U.S.) was that capital being used well or was it being used as a buffer against the inevitable slide in Apple stock?

Investors looked out at investment opportunity, increasing competition for the iPhone and decided to take profits and put their money in more companies in different businesses. After all, while some may argue the opposite, does any country create lasting success through the overwhelming dominance of one company in its markets?

The history of antitrust law would say no. You be the judge.

You’re risk tolerance may be severely tested only once every ten years, but when it is, what you thought you knew about yourself can change as fast as the passage of that ray of light that just went by but left the sun eight minutes ago.

Click here for more about bonds/fixed income investments.

Click below for more about asset allocation and reallocation strategies:

Get the balance right

A simple way to arrive at the right asset allocation for your portfolio

Plan like a pension fund manager when it comes to your investment portfolio

Let’s think about assets

Asset allocation: Diversification is king

Click here for articles about dividends/dividend-payers.

Click here for a collection of articles about investing.

Follow me on Twitter, by RSS or sign up to receive posts via email, top sidebar to the right.

* Based on an average basket of Canadian dividend-payers

** Recent activity in gold adds fuel to a philosophy of owning dividend-payers during tough times, the dangers of volatility for investors who haven’t diversified and the perils of overweighting one speculative sector or stock, no matter how “safe” the crowd thinks it is

Written by johnrondina

April 8, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Impact investing: J.P. Morgan and GIIN show the positive growth of impact investments

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sailJ.P. Morgan and the GIIN release study showing the impact of impact investments on fund managers and client investors

Sailing into the future, we can no longer tilt at windmills

96 per cent of participants measure social and/or environmental impact and 75 per cent of fund managers say the impact measurement factor is important in raising capital

In 2012, impact investors moved forward gaining attention and assets.

J.P. Morgan and the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) conducted a study confirming the growth of impact investing. It’s difficult to understand what “portion of the market” the study has captured, but the survey sample has “almost doubled” from the previous year, and so, offers a “rich data set”.

Here are some of the highlights of the study:

  • $8 billion U.S. went to impact investments in 2012
  • $9 billion U.S. is expected for 2013 (an increase of almost 12 per cent)
  • 96 per cent of participants measured their social and/or environmental impact
  • 75 per cent of fund managers highlighted the importance of impact measurement for raising capital

Considering 96 per cent of participants measured social and/or environmental impact and 75 per cent of fund managers said the impact measurement factor is important in raising capital, the investing landscape looks to have changed. While participants who are already managing a significant amount of impact investments were chosen, participants weren’t exclusively impact investors, but they did see the benefit in impact investments.

Are these participants simply new impact investors? No.

  • 42 per cent were making impact investments over a decade ago

Where were they located?

  • 56 per cent of respondents were in the U.S. and Canada

How many were fund managers?

  • More than 50 per cent were fund managers

Did these investors have a narrow focus when it came to sectoral investments? No.

  • 86 per cent of investors focus on multiple sectors (top three respectively)
  1. Food and agriculture
  2. Healthcare
  3. Financial services (excluding microfinance)

Was social/environmental impact important? Yes.

  • 50 per cent focus on social impact
  • 45 per cent focus on social and environmental impact

Did participants use private equity/debt?

  • 83 per cent use private equity and 66 per cent use private debt

Respondents identified the top challenges to the growth of the impact investment industry today as being:

  • “lack of appropriate capital across the risk/return spectrum”

and

  • “shortage of high quality investment opportunities with track record”

Government impact

… there is a crucial role for governments in facilitating the transition to an economy that is much more efficient, much more fair and much less damaging … Countries that lag behind will inevitably face increasing competitive disadvantage and lost opportunity.*

When it comes to the role of government in impact investing, respondents cited the following as “very helpful”:

  • 35 per cent said “technical assistance for investees”
  • 32 per cent said “tax credits or subsidies”
  • 27 per cent said “government-backed guarantees”

Without doubt, government continues to be important to impact investing.

How did impact and financial performance do?

According to respondents:

Impact Performance

  • 84 per cent reported their portfolio’s impact performance was “in line with their expectations”
  • 14 per cent reported their portfolio’s impact is “outperforming expectations”
  • Only 2 per cent said they were underperforming

Financial performance

  • 68 per cent said they were performing “in-line”
  • 21 per cent reported outperforming

and,

  • 11 per cent underperformed

Product providers and the degree of interest by investor clients for impact investments

Obviously, product providers and investor clients play an active role in present and future impact investments.

  • 86 per cent felt “many” or “some” investors are starting to consider the impact investment market

Eighty-six per cent is a large number. One that further illustrates growing transparency and volume of information is affecting investors as much as other stakeholders.

Sailing into the future

The bottom line: A wind blowing at a 12 per cent growth trajectory

The investors in the survey:

  • Committed  $8 billion U.S. to impact investments in 2012

and,

  • Plan to commit $9 billion in 2013

… approximately a 12 per cent increase year-over-year.

Since 96 per cent  of respondents measure their social and/or environmental impact, and several studies are confirming CSR as a growing business function (find one here),  there is change in the scope of and business case for impact, CSR/sustainability investing.

What may have seemed like an exercise in tilting at windmills two or three decades ago is now a growing data set showing that the investing world is changing.

If the only thing we can count on is change, forecasting the future will include the impact of investments and their ability to focus the positive power of enterprise.

You can find the study here.

* Steven Peck and Robert Gibson, “Pushing the Revolution,” in Alternatives Journal, Vol. 26, No. 1 (Winter 2000).

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