IPA Members Say Direct Investments Are Key to True Investment Portfolio Diversification Record Attendance at IPA Fall Conference Highlights Industry Growth and Opportunity

ELLICOTT CITY, Md., Nov 12, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- --Key Messages: Members of the Investment Program Association (IPA) believe current economic conditions make now the ideal time for advisors and investors to diversify financial portfolios with direct investments. The distinctive benefits of direct investing were the focal point of the IPA's 2010 Fall Conference held November 3-4 in Dallas.

This year's conference, themed "Creating a New Tomorrow," showcased a maturing industry that is in a position to help bring the benefits of direct investing to an increasing number of investors. Direct investments, such as non-listed real estate investment trusts (REITs), equipment leasing partnerships, oil and gas programs, and managed futures, are investments in companies that typically own tangible underlying assets. Directly investing in these programs provides the investor with a share of the actual physical assets of the company, and typically provides benefits such as portfolio diversification, current income, a hedge against inflation and capital appreciation potential.

With more than 350 attendees, including broker/dealers, investment program sponsors and direct investment service providers, the 2010 Fall Conference was the IPA's largest event to date. This year's record attendance represented a 25 percent increase in participation over last year's conference. IPA membership is also growing, with nine new member companies joining the association in 2010.

"As the IPA celebrates 25 years of advocating the inclusion of direct investments in a diversified portfolio, participation in this year's conference represents the momentum of this important industry, and the opportunities available to our member companies and investors," said IPA Executive Director Kevin Hogan. "It's refreshing to see companies come together to improve the quality and set standards for the direct investment industry -- actions that will ultimately allow more financial advisors and their clients to realize the benefits of direct investments." The association's leaders expressed much optimism as they shared key IPA initiatives with conference attendees including new educational initiatives introduced to help members communicate, differentiate and increase awareness of the unique benefits of direct investments as a core asset class that should be included in many investor portfolios.

Additional conference speakers included senior regulators from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) who provided valuable insight on how regulators view direct investments. Keynote addresses were also delivered by Governor Edward Rendell of Pennsylvania and James Glassman, founding executive director of the George Bush Institute, who shared their perspectives on the current economic and political landscape and offered optimistic insights on how the industry can forge ahead into the future.

"With IPA members coming together to build on a strong foundation and share ideas for taking the industry forward, tremendous growth opportunities exist for the direct investment industry," said Hogan.

About Investment Program Association: The Investment Program Association (IPA) was formed in 1985 to provide the direct investment industry with effective national leadership. IPA is composed of more than 100 direct investment product sponsors, broker-dealers and direct investment service providers. Participants in the direct investments industry generally include real estate, oil and natural gas, equipment programs, and managed futures funds, as well as those who share a commonality of interest in the fields of law, accounting, banking, and at broker dealers firms. For the last 25 years, the IPA has successfully championed the growth of these investment products which have increased in popularity with financial professionals and investors alike. Today, the IPA is the leading advocate for the inclusion of direct investments in a diversified investment portfolio. For more information, please visit www.ipa.com.

SOURCE: Investment Program Association CONTACT: Gibbs & Soell, Inc. Roxanne Pipitone, (847) 519-9150, ext. 2112 rpipitone@gibbs-soell.com Copyright Business Wire 2010 -0- KEYWORD: United States

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