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BlackRock: Canteen food for thought

BlackRock chose February 29 to launch what it describes as a multi-faceted global initiative to offer investors the chance to build "the more dynamic and more diverse portfolios that these times require".

The event was marked with a synchronized press event in New York and London, incorporating a speech by Larry Fink from the Council on Foreign Relations outlining what he sees as three far-reaching and closely intertwined trends: the great ageing, the great deleveraging and the great migration.

In London, the speech was followed by presentations from fixed income, equity, natural resources and iShares specialists extolling the virtues of these asset classes for investment.

Using the job market as an analogy, natural resources were compared to the most attractive job you could ever be offered: great salary, pension benefits, all the perks and a subsidized canteen. Not to be outdone, ETF investments were compared just as favourably – although the panellist conceded "maybe not the subsidized canteen..."

So, to what would BlackRock compare some asset classes that have not perhaps enjoyed such stellar performance, such as commercial real estate or emerging market equities? Maybe an unpaid intern? Or working in the kitchens of that subsidized canteen?

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