'Real' Assets

64 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2012

Date Written: September 29, 2012


Traditionally, “real” assets such as inflation-indexed bonds, commodities and real estate were thought to have correlate well with inflation and thus provide protection against rising price levels. But many of these assets turn out not to be that “real.” While a single real bond provides a constant real return by definition, real bonds as an asset class has a correlation with inflation close to zero. Among commodities, only energy has been a decent inflation hedge. Gold, surprisingly, has been a poor inflation hedge. Real estate has some, but certainly far from complete, inflation-hedging ability. Cash (T-bills), in contrast, is one of the best inflation hedges.

Keywords: Inflation, Commodities, Gold, Real estate, TIPS, real bonds, inflation risk premium, inflation hedge, precious metals, backwardation, normalization, REIT

JEL Classification: E31, E32, E43, G11, G12

Suggested Citation

Ang, Andrew, 'Real' Assets (September 29, 2012). Columbia Business School Research Paper No. 12-60, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2161124 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2161124

Andrew Ang (Contact Author)

BlackRock, Inc ( email )

55 East 52nd Street
New York City, NY 10055
United States

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