One of the largest publicly traded private equity firms is investing through five key themes in the new year as the broad-based rally gives way to a market expected to reward more discerning investors. Some of the ideas are familiar, like the energy transition and defi. But KKR also points to real estate, infrastructure, and asset-based finance as attractive ways to play an expected rise in inflation.
Making investments in industries with collateral-based cash flows can insulate investors from pricing risks stemming from high commodities prices and supply chain shocks. And KKR’s call to pivot into alternative assets is driven by expectations that those risks are here to stay—the firm is raising its consumer price index inflation prediction to 5 percent, versus the 3.6 percent consensus.
In real estate, that trend is particularly attractive. Rental price increases, a large component of the consumer price index, rose 12.9 percent year over year according to Zillow. That comes as platforms across the asset class, like Fundrise, are posting record gains as Millennials priced out of the housing market turn to apartment rentals. Millennials’ inability to get on the housing ladder has outsized market as they now constitute the largest generational cohort.
Expect private equity funds to continue their expansion into real estate, infrastructure, and other asset-based cash flow investments as bets on inflation’s persistence continue.