Research

Research plays a crucial role in all phases of our investment process from acquisitions to dispositions.

In-house and collaborative research underlies nearly all of our investment decisions. We write and produce several research documents on a regular basis. These publications are used to educate potential investors, while keeping our current clients informed of topics that may be relevant to their portfolio.

All of our in-house research publications are now accessible to the public.

White Paper Archive

2009: Low Risk of Catastrophic Loss in Timberland Investments

Investors new to timberland investing often ask about the risk of a catastrophic loss from a damaging natural event. Surely, timberland properties are indeed exposed to damaging natural occurrences – such as fire, wind or storm damage, and insect and disease outbreaks. Yet, to what extent does timberland’s inherent exposure translate to actual loss? Do investors truly have cause for concern? If history can be a guide, the answer is no.

White Paper Archive

2004: Explaining Timberland Value in the United States

The financial fortunes of timberland investors ultimately depend on conditions in markets for timberland properties. The behavior of timberland markets, however, is not well understood. In this article, we use data from the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF) Timberland Property Index to develop historical series of timberland property values in the the US South and US Pacific Northwest. We then use these historical series to examine the influence of operating revenues an interest rates on timberland values in each region. The former is influential, the latter is not.

White Paper Archive

2004: Timberland, The Natural Alternative

Timberland offers an alternative to institutional investors looking for better returns without unduly increasing risk. Clark S. Binkley, of the Hancock Timber Resource Group, and Leo de Bever, of MFC Global Investment Management, look at the returns and opportunities offered by this alternative investment.

White Paper Archive

2003: Timberland Can be a Useful Addition to a Portfolio of Commercial Properties

Timberland and commercial properties share many fundamental investment characteristics. Strategically, real estate investors are drawn to timberland and commercial properties for similar reasons: expectations of strong risk-adjusted total returns, the potential for relatively high cash yields, and the capacity to improve the risk efficiency of a typical mixed asset portfolio that consists of stocks and bonds.

White Paper Archive

2003: Timberland as a Portfolio Diversifier

This research note evaluates the historical performance of U.S. timberland investments during the period 1960-2002 relative to the performance of other assets such as stocks, bonds, and commercial real estate. Our research is divided into two sections: a comparison of the level and volatility of past returns for the various asset classes, and an examination of the capacity of timberland to diversify a portfolio of stocks, bonds, and commercial real estate. A companion research note entitled Historical Returns for Timberland details the measurement of historical timberland returns, and presents estimates of the past performance of forest assets in various regions.

White Paper Archive

2003: The NCREIF Timberland Property Index

This research note describes the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF) Timberland Property Index. It provides some background information on the development of the NCREIF Timberland Property Index, discusses the methodology used by the Index to calculate investment performance, and presents annual performance results through 2002.

White Paper Archive

2003: The Benefits of Timberland in a Real Estate Portfolio, Revisited

Despite the unique risk and return characteristics of timberland, most investors include it with either their private equity or real estate portfolios. Of the two, we think including it with the latter is generally more appropriate. But doing so raises the question of how timberland affects the risk and return of the overall real estate portfolio. Because of timberland’s investment characteristics, it can substantially reduce the volatility of a broad, mixed-asset real estate portfolio and at the same time materially increase returns.

White Paper Archive

2003: Historical Returns for Timberland

This research note uses both the John Hancock Timber Index and the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF) Timberland Property Index to estimate the historical level and volatility
of timberland returns.

White Paper Archive

2003: Exchange-Rate Risk for Timberland Investments

This note examines the exchange-rate risk associated with the annual cash flows from equity investments in New Zealand radiata pine plantations. We take the perspective of an investor interested in $US returns, both because many of our investors are $US – denominated, and because the $US currency market is far more liquid than is the $NZ market.

White Paper Archive

2001: Relating Cash Flow and Total Return: Do Properties with Lower Near-Term Cash flows Producer Higher Total Returns?

Conventional wisdom among the timberland investment community suggests that timberland properties with a relatively low cash yield in the near term provide a relatively high total return. A return premium is thought to be required to compensate investors for the risks (less liquidity and more uncertainty about asset value) of holding such properties. Indeed, at least one timberland investment firm has created a fund designed to capture a return premium associated with young plantations.

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