Global Asset Allocation Summit

I went to the GAA Summit in Carlsbad, CA Feb 1 & 2.    I was looking forward to reconnecting with an old UVa professor but he didn’t show.  Bummer. 

One of the more interesting presentations was from Premier Pacific Vineyards.

Premier Pacific Vineyards provides vineyard sourcing options for fine wine producers seeking additional world-class vineyards. We also offer creative financial solutions designed to help wineries face the challenges of a competitive marketplace.

Our aim is to help high-end wine companies capitalize on the substantial opportunities present in today’s fine wine market.Premier Pacific Vineyards (“PPV”) has created four funds in partnership with institutional investors since 2002 including the California Public Employees Retirement System
(“CalPERS”) and Commonfund Realty. These funds are fully committed, and PPV is developing and operating 36 high-end vineyard properties in fine wine regions of California (Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Santa Barbara), Oregon (Willamette Valley) and Washington.

We talk about timber a bit in the book, and there was another good presentation from Timbervest:

Timbervest, LLC, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, was formed in 1995 to manage timberland and timberland related investments for a variety of institutional investors. Timbervest currently manages over 850,000 acres and investments with a market value in excess of $1.5 Billion as of May 1, 2008.

Unfortunately there are no slides from either of these companies but you can check out their sites for more info. 

There was also a presentation from Hyman Beck, a managed futures fund.  While I have no issues with their funds (after all they did 50% in 2008), it always annoys me to see managed futures groups trot out the non-correlation to a 60/40 portfolio and all the benefits of managed futures.  The correct comparison is against a portfolio with a long only allocation to commodities, a commodity index, or a passive rules based managed futures index. 

Some cool slides from The World Gold Council presenting during lunch at the conference: