Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Good and Bad of Real Estate Investment Trusts

Real Estate Investment Trusts, or REITs, are an avenue of investment that many people have heard of, but have not taken a good look into. Let's take that look now.

First, you need to understand what a REIT is. It is generally a property management investment. You fund a property management company and let them run a real estate asset, with you getting dividends from the profit. For example, a commercial real estate REIT may own a shopping center or strip mall. When you purchase shares of that REIT they are going into building and maintaining that structure. As tenants move in and rent those spaces, and the REIT profits, the profits come back to you in the form of dividends. This is also the case for residential real estate interests like housing developments, apartments and condominiums.

So now let's look at the good and bad sides of this investment option.

Dividends – Unlike other stocks and mutual funds, REITs come with some very strict rules for how their profits can be used. As profits come into a REIT, at least 90 percent of that profit must go right back to the shareholders in the form of dividends. That means most REITs always see a nice annual return on the initial investment, averaging 6% or more.

Their Own Entity – If you have noticed, the stock market has an all for one kind of approach to things. Often if one area of the market goes down, the rest follows, hitting you across the board. But REITs are their own creature. By not being as strongly tied to other investments and stock fluctuations, they can hold strong even when the rest of the market is on a roller coaster ride.

Solid Starting Platform – If you are not a major investor in general, REITs may be the way to go to begin your investment portfolio. For the most part they are strong and stable purchases and can bring in a good, steady profit for years to come.

Constant Investment – Since REITs revolve around property investments, there is always something tangible – a piece of land, homes, apartments or businesses. Usually these also have long-term leases, which means there will be money coming in from those leases to feed your dividends.


There aren't that many bad points to REITs, but here are a few:

Slow Growth - If you are looking for a major growth in your REIT, you likely won't see it. Since only 10% of the money made can be put back into the REIT (as 90% has to be paid out as a dividend) that means there is a lot less going back into the business to make it grow more quickly.

Down Times – Just like any other investment, there is always the chance that a downturn in real estate will make it where your REIT does not bring in a profit for the year.

Despite these few bad points, REITs are worth looking into. Start by going to a full service website like There you can get information about REITS, tools and research help as well as education and advice before you buy. When you're ready, they are also investment real estate brokers who can take care of the entire transaction.

"Apartrment OH" - REITs for the Liquidity of Real Estate Investments

When you think about real estate and investing in it, you probably think that means money that you will be out of for a long, long time. This only makes sense. Most people think of real estate investing as purchasing a home or pieces of land. The loans for these purchases often last quite some time.

But this does not have to be the case. If you know what you are doing and are doing real estate investing instead of real estate purchasing, you can have full liquidity of your money, just in case you need it.

Here's a look at the difference. In real estate purchasing, you are buying properties and then responsible for them. "Apartments OH" would require maintenance The same for homes or businesses, you have to maintain them and keep them in good working order.

On the other hand REITs are investments. They are purchased in shares, just like you would with the stock market. If you need some liquid cash or just no longer want to be a part of a REIT, you just sell your shares as you would with any other stock or mutual fund investment.

In many respects, REITs offer the same flexibility as any of the other markets, while at the same time offering you the chance for a longer-term secured investment.

What I mean by secured investment is that for the most part real estate always has some value. While the value may fluctuate, it is a physical asset that will retain some value over the long term. In other stocks and mutual funds, if the company that you are purchasing shares in goes out of business, you can lose everything. In the case of real estate investing, there is always an asset with worth involved.

Many people steer away from REITs because they are not a 'make money fast' source of investment income. In most cases, that is true. Most REITs will see pretty constant regular returns in dividends, but not necessarily big spikes where you can grab a big profit. With that said, think about what else is in your portfolio. If you have other stocks and mutual funds in your portfolio adding real estate investments will give you a more stable backbone to base your investment profile off of.

There is also another way to add diversity to our real estate investment trusts. Why not diversify the trusts you own. Instead of just owning commercial, residential or US based ones, you can purchase shares in a number of different investment trusts across the world and across all markets.

When you're ready to jump onboard and diversify your portfolio with the addition of a few REITs, it's time to do a little research and understand what you want and how to get it. Instead of trying to sort all of this out from a number of different sources, why not do it the easy way and get everything you need in one place. has all the aspects you need to get going with REITs. From research and analysis of the REITs out there to the tools to follow them and even make a purchase, as they are a complete investment real estate broker site.