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January 15, 2021

Market Timing in Private Investments

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January 15, 2021

Market Timing in Private Investments


Insight Article

Market Timing in Private Investments

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January 15, 2021

 
 

Summary

It is a well-known phenomenon that private market returns vary across vintage years. Moreover, as we show in our Post-Crisis Private Markets Investing paper, this variability is closely tied to market cycles. Historically, the performance of vintages that immediately follow the onset of market crises has been particularly strong. This is true on both an absolute basis, when compared to private market returns in other vintage years; and on a relative basis, when compared to public market performance in the same vintage years.

In this paper, we analyze whether GPs have been able to time the market and increase investments in favorable years. We conclude that GPs have not historically taken advantage of market timing and thus investors should increase their commitments in order to obtain the desired exposure to investments at favorable valuations.

 
 
 
The Portfolio Solutions Group specializes in managing custom multi-asset portfolios, outsourced CIO programs and liquid alternative investment strategies.
 
 
 
 
 

Risk Considerations

Historical performance information is not indicative of future results, and the historical performance information in this paper should not be viewed as an indicator of any future performance that may be achieved as a result of implementing an investment strategy substantially identical or similar to that described in this paper.

Alternative investments are speculative and include a high degree of risk. Investors could lose all, or a substantial amount, of their investment. Alternative instruments are suitable only for long-term investors willing to forgo liquidity and put capital at risk for an indefinite period of time. Alternative investments are typically highly illiquid—there is no secondary market for private funds, and there may be restrictions on redemptions or the assignment or other transfer of investments in private funds. Alternative investments often utilize leverage and other speculative practices that may increase volatility and risk of loss. Financial intermediaries are required to satisfy themselves that the information in this document is suitable for any person to whom they provide this document in view of that person’s circumstances and purpose. Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM), its affiliates and its and their respective directors, officers, members, partners, employees, agents, advisors, representatives, heirs and successors shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to any person’s or entity’s receipt, use of or reliance upon this document or any information contained herein. If such a person considers an investment she/he should always ensure that she/he has satisfied herself/himself that she/he has been properly advised by that financial intermediary about the suitability of an investment.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

The information contained herein refers to research, but does not constitute an equity research report and is not from Morgan Stanley Equity Research. The views expressed herein are those of MSIM as of the date of preparation and are subject to change at any time due to changes in market and economic conditions. The views and opinions expressed herein may differ from those of other Morgan Stanley affiliates or businesses. The views and opinions expressed herein are based on matters as they exist as of the date of preparation of this piece and not as of any future date, and will not be updated or otherwise revised to reflect information that subsequently becomes available or circumstances existing, or changes occurring, after the date hereof.

These comments are not necessarily representative of the opinions and views of any other MSIM portfolio manager or of Morgan Stanley as a whole. While the information contained herein is believed to be reliable, we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness, and accordingly, we make no representation or warranty with respect thereto. The recipient should bear in mind that past performance is not indicative of future results. Keep in mind that forecasts are inherently limited and should not be relied upon as an indicator of future performance. The views expressed are subject to change based on market, economic and other conditions. They should not be construed as recommendations, but as an illustration of broader economic themes.

Information regarding expected market returns and market outlooks is based on the research, analysis, and opinions of the investment team of MSIM. These conclusions are speculative in nature, may not come to pass, and are not intended to predict the future of any specific Morgan Stanley investment.

Certain information contained herein constitutes forward-looking statements, which can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “estimate,” “intend,” continue” or “believe” or the negatives thereof or other variations thereon or other comparable terminology. Due to various risks and uncertainties, actual events or results may differ materially from those reflected or contemplated in such forward-looking statements. No representation or warranty is made as to future performance or such forward-looking statements.

There is no guarantee that any investment strategy will work under all market conditions, and each investor should evaluate their ability to invest for the long-term, especially during periods of downturn in the market. There are important differences in how the strategy is carried out in each of the investment vehicles. Your financial professional will be happy to discuss with you the vehicle most appropriate for you given your investment objectives, risk tolerance and investment time horizon. This piece has been prepared solely for informational purposes and is not an offer, or a solicitation of an offer, to buy or sell any security or instrument or to participate in any trading strategy or other investment. The material contained herein has not been based on a consideration of any individual recipient circumstances and is not investment advice, nor should it be construed in any way as tax, accounting, legal or regulatory advice. To that end, the recipient should seek independent legal and financial advice, including advice as to tax consequences, before making any investment decision. Any index referred to herein is the intellectual property (including registered trademarks) of the applicable licensor. Any product based on an index is in no way sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by the applicable licensor and it shall not have any liability with respect thereto.

By accepting this document, you agree that such document (including any data, analysis, conclusions or other information contained herein provided by MSIM in connection herewith) may not be reproduced or otherwise shared or distributed to any other persons, in whole or in part, without the prior consent of an MSIM representative.

Persons considering an alternative investment should refer to the specific investment’s offering documentation, which will fully describe the specific risks and considerations associated with such investment.

This communication is only intended for and will only be distributed to persons resident in jurisdictions where such distribution or availability would not be contrary to local laws or regulations.

Alternative investments typically have higher fees and expenses than other investment vehicles, and such fees and expenses will lower returns achieved by investors. Funds of funds often have a higher fee structure than single manager funds as a result of the additional layer of fees. Alternative investment funds are often unregulated, are not subject to the same regulatory requirements as mutual funds, and are not required to provide periodic pricing or valuation information to investors. The investment strategies described in the preceding pages may not be suitable for the recipient’s specific circumstances; accordingly, you should consult your own tax, legal or other advisors, both at the outset of any transaction and on an ongoing basis, to determine such suitability.

Risks Relating to Private Equity Investments. Private equity funds will typically invest in securities, instruments and assets that are not, and are not expected to become, publicly traded and therefore may require a substantial length of time to realize a return or fully liquidate. There can be no assurance that any such fund will be able to identify, choose, make or realize investments of the type targeted for their fund, or that such fund will be able to invest fully its committed capital. There can be no assurance that a fund will be able to generate returns for its investors or that returns will be commensurate with the risks of the investments within such fund’s investment objectives. The business of identifying and structuring investments of the types contemplated by these funds is competitive and involves a high degree of uncertainty. In addition to competition from other investors, the availability of investment opportunities generally will be subject to market conditions as well as, in many cases, the prevailing regulatory or political climate.

Risks Relating to Infrastructure Investments. Most infrastructure assets have unique locational and market characteristics, which could make them highly illiquid or appealing only to a narrow group of investors. Political and regulatory considerations and popular sentiments could also affect the ability of the Fund to buy or sell investments on favorable terms. Infrastructure assets can have a narrow customer base. Should any of the customers or counterparties fail to pay their contractual obligations, significant revenues could cease and become irreplaceable. This would affect the profitability of the infrastructure assets and the value of any securities or other instruments issued in connection with such assets. Infrastructure projects are generally heavily dependent on the operator of the assets. There are a limited number of operators with the expertise necessary to successfully maintain and operate infrastructure projects. The insolvency of the lead contractor, a major subcontractor and/or a key equipment supplier could result in material delays, disruptions and costs that could significantly impair the financial viability of an infrastructure investment project and result in a material adverse effect on the investments.

Risks Relating to Private Real Estate. Risks of private real estate include: illiquidity, a long-term investment horizon with a limited or nonexistent secondary market; lack of transparency; volatility (risk of loss); and leverage.

Epidemics and Other Health Risks. Many countries have experienced outbreaks of infectious illnesses in recent decades, including swine flu, avian influenza, SARS and the 2019-nCoV (the “Coronavirus”). In December 2019, an initial outbreak of the Coronavirus was reported in Hubei, China. Since then, a large and growing number of cases have been confirmed around the world. The Coronavirus outbreak has resulted in numerous deaths and the imposition of both local and more widespread “work from home” and other quarantine measures, border closures and other travel restrictions, causing social unrest and commercial disruption on a global scale and significant volatility in financial markets. In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.

The ongoing spread of the Coronavirus has had, and will continue to have, a material adverse impact on local economies in the affected jurisdictions and also on the global economy, as cross border commercial activity and market sentiment are increasingly impacted by the outbreak and government and other measures seeking to contain its spread. The global impact of the outbreak has been rapidly evolving, and many countries have reacted by instituting quarantines and restrictions on travel. These actions are creating disruption in supply chains, and adversely impacting a number of industries, including but not limited to retail, transportation, hospitality, and entertainment. In addition to these developments having adverse consequences for certain portfolio companies and other issuers, our operations have been, and could continue to be, adversely impacted, including through quarantine measures and travel restrictions imposed on our personnel or service providers based or temporarily located in affected countries, or any related health issues of such personnel or service providers. Any of the foregoing events could materially and adversely affect a fund’s ability to source, manage and divest its investments and its ability to fulfil its investment objectives. Similar consequences could arise with respect to other comparable infectious diseases.

Prospective investors should note that any information provided regarding valuations, targets and/or prior performance was determined and relates to periods prior to the widespread outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and does not reflect any estimated negative impact of the outbreak or the related economic ramifications. Given the significant economic and financial market disruptions currently occurring and anticipated in connection with the outbreak, it is expected that the valuation and performance of certain markets and/or investments will be materially adversely impacted for future periods (at least in the short term).

This is prepared for sophisticated investors who are capable of understanding the risks associated with the investments described herein and may not be appropriate for the recipient. No investment should be made without proper consideration of the risks and advice from your tax, accounting, legal or other advisors as you deem appropriate.

Morgan Stanley does not render tax advice on tax accounting matters to clients. This material was not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used with any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding penalties which may be imposed on the taxpayer under U.S. federal tax laws. Federal and state tax laws are complex and constantly changing. Clients should always consult with a legal or tax advisor for information concerning their individual situation.

Certain information herein is based on data obtained from third party sources believed to be reliable. However, we have not verified this information, and we make no representations whatsoever as to its accuracy or completeness.

Indexes do not include any expenses, fees or sales charges, which would lower performance. Indexes are unmanaged and should not be considered an investment. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.

For illustrative purposes only. The statements above reflect the opinions and views of MSIM as of the date hereof and not as of any future date and will not be updated or supplemented. All forecasts are speculative, subject to change at any time and may not come to pass due to economic and market conditions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

This document may be translated into other languages. Where such a translation is made this English version remains definitive. If there are any discrepancies between the English version and any version of this document in another language, the English version shall prevail.

All information contained herein is proprietary and is protected under copyright and other applicable laws.

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United Kingdom: Morgan Stanley Investment Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England. Registered No. 1981121. Registered Office: 25 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 4QA, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Dubai: Morgan Stanley Investment Management Limited (Representative Office, Unit Precinct 3-7th Floor-Unit 701 and 702, Level 7, Gate Precinct Building 3, Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai, 506501, United Arab Emirates. Telephone: +97 (0)14 709 7158). Germany: Morgan Stanley Investment Management Limited Niederlassung Deutschland Junghofstrasse 13-15 60311 Frankfurt Deutschland (Gattung: Zweigniederlassung (FDI) gem. § 53b KWG). Ireland: Morgan Stanley Investment Management (Ireland) Limited. Registered Office: The Observatory, 7-11 Sir John Rogerson’s, Quay, Dublin 2, Ireland. Registered in Ireland under company number 616662. Authorised and regulated by Central Bank of Ireland. Italy: Morgan Stanley Investment Management Limited, Milan Branch (Sede Secondaria di Milano) is a branch of Morgan Stanley Investment Management Limited, a company registered in the U.K., authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and whose registered office is at 25 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 4QA. Morgan Stanley Investment Management Limited Milan Branch (Sede Secondaria di Milano) with seat in Palazzo Serbelloni Corso Venezia, 16 20121 Milano, Italy, is registered in Italy with company number and VAT number 08829360968. The Netherlands: Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Rembrandt Tower, 11th Floor Amstelplein 1 1096HA, Netherlands. Telephone: 31 2-0462-1300. Morgan Stanley Investment Management is a branch office of Morgan Stanley Investment Management Limited. Morgan Stanley Investment Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Switzerland: Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc, London, Zurich BranchI Authorised and regulated by the Eidgenössische Finanzmarktaufsicht (“FINMA”). Registered with the Register of Commerce Zurich CHE-115.415.770. Registered Office: Beethovenstrasse 33, 8002 Zurich, Switzerland, Telephone +41 (0) 44 588 1000. Facsimile Fax: +41(0)44 588 1074. Saudi Arabia: This document is not and does not purport to be any of the following: (a) a marketing communication, (b) a securities advertisement, (c) a financial promotion. It has been prepared solely for information purposes and does not constitute an offer or a recommendation to buy or sell any security, enter into arrangement (financial or otherwise) or to adopt any specific investment strategy. The material contained herein has not been based on a consideration of any individual client circumstances and is not investment advice, nor should it be construed in any way as tax, accounting, legal or regulatory advice. To that end, recipients or viewers of this document should seek independent legal and financial advice, including advice as to tax consequences, before making any investment decision. This communication is only intended for and will be only distributed to persons  resident in jurisdictions where such distribution or availability would not be contrary to local laws or regulations. The Capital Market Authority does not make any representation as to the accuracy or completeness of this document, and expressly disclaims any liability whatsoever for any loss arising from, or incurred in reliance upon, any part of this document. Prospective purchasers should conduct their own due diligence on the accuracy of the information in this presentation. If you do not understand the contents of this document you should consult an authorized financial adviser.

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In addition, this Publication may not be issued or possessed for the purposes of issue, whether in Hong Kong or elsewhere, and any securities may not be disposed of to any person unless such person is outside Hong Kong, such person is a “professional investor” as defined in the Ordinance and any rules made under the Ordinance or as otherwise may be permitted by the Ordinance. Singapore: This Publication has not been registered as a prospectus with the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Accordingly, this Publication and any other document or material in connection with the offer or sale, or invitation for subscription or purchase, of securities may not be circulated or distributed, nor may securities be offered or sold, or be made the subject of an invitation for subscription or purchase, whether directly or indirectly, to persons in Singapore other than (i) to an institutional investor pursuant to Section 304 of the Securities and Futures Act, Chapter 289 of Singapore (the “SFA”) or (ii) otherwise pursuant to, and in accordance with the conditions of, any other applicable provision of the SFA. Australia: This publication is provided by Morgan Stanley Investment Management (Australia) Pty Limited CAN: 122040037, AFSL No. 314182 and its affiliates and do not constitute an offer of interests. Interests will only be offered in circumstances under which no disclosure is required under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (the “Corporations Act”). Any offer of interests will not purport to be an offer of interests in circumstances under which disclosure is required under the Corporations Act and will only be made to persons who qualify as a “wholesale client”, a “sophisticated investor” or a “professional investor” (in each case, as defined in the Corporations Act). Any fund, if offered, is not required to be registered in Australia as a managed investment scheme. This publication will not be lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Japan:J For professional investors, this document is circulated or distributed for informational purposes only. For those who are not professional investors, this document is provided in relation to Morgan Stanley Investment Management (Japan) Co., Ltd. (“MSIMJ”)’s business with respect to discretionary investment management agreements (“IMA”) and investment advisory agreements (“IAA”). This is not for the purpose of a recommendation or solicitation of transactions or offers any particular financial instruments. Under an IMA, with respect to management of assets of a client, the client prescribes basic management policies in advance and commissions MSIMJ to make all investment decisions based on an analysis of the value, etc. of the securities, and MSIMJ accepts such commission. The client shall delegate to MSIMJ the authorities necessary for making investment. MSIMJ exercises the delegated authorities based on investment decisions of MSIMJ, and the client shall not make individual instructions. All investment profits and losses belong to the clients; principal is not guaranteed. Please consider the investment objectives and nature of risks before investing. As an investment advisory fee for an IAA or an IMA, the amount of assets subject to the contract multiplied by a certain rate (the upper limit is 2.20% per annum (including tax)) shall be incurred in proportion to the contract period. For some strategies, a contingency fee may be incurred in addition to the fee mentioned above. Indirect charges also may be incurred, such as brokerage commissions for incorporated securities. Since these charges and expenses are different depending on a contract and other factors, MSIMJ cannot present the rates, upper limits, etc. in advance. All clients should read the Documents Provided Prior to the Conclusion of a Contract carefully before executing an agreement. This document is disseminated in Japan by MSIMJ, Registered No. 410 (Director of Kanto Local Finance Bureau (Financial Instruments Firms)), Membership: the Japan Securities Dealers Association, The Investment Trusts Association, Japan, the Japan Investment Advisers Association and the Type II Financial Instruments Firms Association.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

EMEA: This marketing communication has been issued by Morgan Stanley Investment Management Limited (“MSIM Limited”). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England No. 1981121. Registered Office: 25 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 4QA.

There is no guarantee that any investment strategy will work under all market conditions, and each investor should evaluate their ability to invest for the long-term, especially during periods of downturn in the market. Prior to investing, investors should carefully review the strategy’s/product’ relevant offering document. There are important differences in how the strategy is carried out in each of the investment vehicles.

MSIM Limited has not authorised financial intermediaries to use and to distribute this document, unless such use and distribution is made in accordance with applicable law and regulation. Additionally, financial intermediaries are required to satisfy themselves that the information in this document is suitable for any person to whom they provide this document in view of that person’s circumstances and purpose. MSIM Limited shall not be liable for, and accepts no liability for, the use or misuse of this document by any such financial intermediary.

 

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