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The enduring case for timberland

Aerial view of forest

Enduring principles support the fundamental case for timberland investing

Timberland — and the wood fiber it generates — is vital to the global economy, providing a renewable resource for housing, furniture, packaging, tissue, heat, energy and communications. For many decades, timberland was owned primarily by governments, wealthy families and corporate operators. But that all began to change about 50 years ago, creating a timberland investment landscape that continues to evolve.

The asset class’s unique characteristics also provided portfolio-level benefits that have made timberland an enduring part of many institutional portfolios.

Institutional portfolios may include a mix of traditional and alternative assets. Pensions & Investments (2018) reports the typical defined benefit allocation to be about 50% equity, 25% fixed income and 25% alternatives. The allocation to alternatives may include private equity, real estate, farmland and/or timberland.

The case for investing in timberland remains compelling despite the market’s evolution:

Nuveen and GreenWood Resources employ three key strategies to increase timber returns:

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