Doug St. John is director of client services with Green Crow Management Services LLC, a provider of timberland services to institutional and high net worth investors. He has over 15 years of experience in forest management, and information technology implementation in forestry. Based out of Seattle, Doug guides and supports investors in accessing the natural growth and real asset values of timberland investments.
Listen to the complete feature In this feature we examine the asset’s cash flow generating characteristics, asset-liability matching function, embedded real options, drivers of timber prices in the future and the risks.
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Q1 - A question that is often raised in the context of a (physical) timberland allocation is whether, it, as an asset class can deliver a steady cash flow/return stream?
Doug, could you share insights on why and how this can be achieved?
Customisation of cash flows/return streams
Age of the forest - timing harvests
Managing productivity to optimise returns
Q2 - Exploit the "certainty" of returns element that physical timberland offers in asset liability models.
Timberland acts as a hedge to unanticipated inflation - "inflation resistant" characteristic.
Q3 - Sources of returns: Embedded options?
Q4 - Under what circumstances do you anticipate a demand-supply mismatch leading to higher timber prices?
Q5 - Supply shocks - the role of Canada? Other supply constrains?
Q6 - In the future, how do you see timber prices evolving? Why?
What are the risks associated with investing in timberland?