The Bottom Line
- Income remains harder to get than most investors would like—and not surprisingly, interest in non-traditional income investments continues to be strong.
- That includes listed infrastructure stocks—which on a global basis continue to hold a significant yield advantage over stocks and investment-grade bonds in general.1
- Why do infrastructure stocks pay more? In large part, because infrastructure firms are often regulated in ways that tie revenues to inflation, which promotes stable cash flow growth as well as sustainable payouts over time.
- In addition, the sector is marked by lower correlations and reduced volatility relative to other major global asset classes—qualities that help enhance portfolio diversification.
- Yet identifying attractive companies in the sector can be quite complex. Risks, returns and economic sensitivities are different for each sub-sector, as are the laws and regulations governing these companies in different countries.
- In order to realize its many potential benefits and also enjoy a level of liquidity attainable in other asset classes, investors may choose to consider active solutions that take a selective approach to listed infrastructure investing—one with the flexibility to take advantage of opportunities when markets misprice infrastructure assets in the short term.
1 Source: Bloomberg. As of 2/28/17, the trailing 12-month dividend yield of the S&P Global Infrastructure Index (3.77%), a key benchmark for the infrastructure sector, was notably above—and has been for some time—that of the MSCI World equity index (2.41%) and it also well above the yield to worst of the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Bond Index (1.58%).