Friday, October 29, 2010

Logan, Ernie, David & PERE

You guys are really special.  My friend Charlie, whose grandson Logan (last week I mistakenly identified Logan as Charlie's nephew) told me that so far he has received $400 from readers of this column (and maybe someone to whom you passed it along to) to help defray the expenses of Logan's pending bone marrow transplant.  I received this email yesterday from Logan’s grandmother:

Dear Steve:

I can't thank you enough for writing about Logan in your blog. I'm sure Charlie has already told you that we have received donations as a result of your having written about him. The generosity that has been shown by people who don't know Logan, or for that matter any of us, is overwhelming. Rich and Nancy have been so blown away by the compassion shown by people that they have never met that they can't find the words to describe their gratitude. I, too, have found it very difficult to sufficiently express my thanks to those who have opened up their hearts to my son, my grandson and their family.

This is a very frightening time for all of us, but knowing that there is such a huge amount of support out there, helps us to move forward each day. As my son so eloquently expressed..."His [Logan's] strength is magnified by the prayers and love of others." I think that would stand true for all of us.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,

Early in the evening (6pm) on November 4th, Ernie Hendrickson will be making his first appearance in New York City. The venue is the Rockwood Music Hall, 196 Allen Street ( Unfortunately I'll be on the road that night and won't be able to be there but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't go. Ernie is a good friend and part of the band that has played on both my first and second CD (due out early 2011). More than that, Ernie is a very talented singer/songwriter who has been getting some good national radio play of his latest album, Walking With Angels.  A couple of the testimonials Ernie has received:  "In today's overly produced pop music market, Ernie Hendrickson is a diamond in the rough; born of heart, soul and grit." "Dark and pretty songs. Ernie Hendrickson is finding a niche in the indie folk Americana segment. He is a storyteller like Harry Nillson in a country mood."  If you go, please say "Howdy" to Ernie for me.

 I was very sorry to hear that David Mark, the longtime managing editor of Real Estate Alert, passed away last Saturday from complications from his second bout with leukemia. Although I’ve known the people at Harrison Scott since they started publishing in the early 1990’s I only got to know David over the past few years.  He was a passionate journalist who relished a ‘scoop.’  Many of you knew him, or he knew you or of you.   David was only 42 and leaves behind his wife and two young children.  Very sad.

Finally, some real estate stuff.  I attended the PERE Forum in NewYork this week.  I wanted to share some of my notes and quotes from the conference, which I hope you find worthwhile:

·     The only thing the real estate industry needs to change is our own expectations.
·     Co-investment funds, for large investors, will become popular….for a while.
·     Investors have become frustrated paying fees on committed but uninvested capital.
·     The name of the game today is:  execution.
·     Fee structures should be changed:  lower management fee; higher carry.
·     If you act like a sheep you’re going to get fleeced (investors with herd mentality).
·     Testifying before Congress in 1967, Nobel Laureate Paul Samuelson proclaimed "Most portfolio decision makers should go out of business - take up plumbing, teach Greek, or help produce the annual GNP by serving as corporate executives."
·     If you think you’re going to get 20% returns….forget it.
·     Some large investors (China, Canada) are doing limited JV’s.  This is the way they will invest….for a time.
·     Club Deals (5-6 investors):  Do they have the same investment strategy?  The same exit strategy?
·     It’s hard to see how large funds, operated by investment banks, will make a comeback.
·     Boutique fund managers, with a JV mindset, will be successful.
·     Capital market flows
o  Open-end core funds have attracted $7.28Bn YTD
o  Public REITS have attracted $17Bn YTD
o  Closed-end funds have closed on $5.28Bn YTD
·     Quick-tally audience question:  Which developed markets present the most attractive investment opportunities today?
o  Asia                39%
o  U.S.                 33%
o  Europe         28%

On the road….

Nov. 2-4:  Various places in the Lone Start State
Nov. 5: The City of the Big Shoulders
Dec. 6 & 7: Frankfurt am Main where I'll be moderating a panel at the PERE Forum-Europe
Dec. 8: Mainhattan to attend the INREV investor platform and committee meetings (I'm on their membership committee)
Feb. 1-3: Dana Point, CA to attend IREI's VIP Conference

These are my views and not that of my employer.

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