America's crumbling infrastructure crisis is more than a rallying cry for the presidential candidates. It's an opportunity to get in on the ground floor.
"We are just coming around to this in the U.S.," said Ted Brooks, global listed infrastructure portfolio manager for at CenterSquare.
"Money will flow into private companies and that is making this a fertile investment ground."
According to Brooks, the ability of the public sector to bear an increased load from a new round of infrastructure investment is not very encouraging. This suggests that private capital or PPPs (public-private partnerships) will be necessary if anyone is actually serious about making significant infrastructure upgrades and improvements.
Brooks and CenterSquare subadvise the Dreyfus Global Infrastructure Fund, which is up 12.5% so far in 2016, according to Morningstar. The $24.4 million fund is down 33 basis points in the past 12 months, placing it in the 88th percentile of funds ranked in Morningstar's infrastructure category.
Brooks said the core of infrastructure investing represents some secular trends that support very strong fundamentals including renewable energy growth, global expansion of the middle class that affects trade and travel, technological changes that impact the cost and supply of energy, and the changing relationship between utilities and their customers.
"We like the players that benefit from the policy push toward renewables rather than solar panel or wind turbine manufacturers," said Brooks.
When it comes to the nation's often maligned electrical grid, Brooks said it is a "logical extreme of the renewables push."
"There is a trend toward independent power generation and storage," said Brooks. "Some companies will be leaders and we are looking for those."