Thursday, February 26, 2009

REIT History

About REITs: Real Estate Investment Trusts

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) were created in the 60's so that all investors would have access to income-producing real estate through the purchase and sale of liquid securities. Before REITs were created access to investment returns of commercial real estate equity was only available to institutions and wealthy individuals.

For over half a century, REITs have become an important part of the United States economy and investment markets. United States REITs have grown from ninety billion dollars to over three hundred billion dollars in the past decade and they have gained popularity all over the world.

During their early years, mortgage Real Estate Investment Trust dominated the industry, providing debt financing for commercial or residential properties through investments in mortgages and mortgage-backed securities. Interest in equity REITs which own and manage commercial properties was limited because of the requirements that ownership and management of assets remain separate. This restriction was lifted with the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 which allowed REITs to both own and manage properties. Now, more than 90% of publicly traded United States REITs are equity REITs that own and manage commercial real estate. Most of their income is derived from rents owned by companies across the nation.

There are certain guidelines and standards in place that must be followed in order for a company to qualify as a REIT in the US. The Internal Revenue Code requires at least seventy five percent of total assets be invested in real estate which realize at least seventy five percent of its gross income from rents from real property or interest from mortgages. They must also distribute at least ninety percent of taxable income to shareholders annually in the form of dividends.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Investing in REITS Can Bring You Big Bucks

Consistent Returns with Real Estate Investment Trusts

If you're looking for an investment that has proven returns, you may not be sure just where to look in today's ailing economy. What about REITs? REITs, or Real Estate Investment Trusts are known for consistent returns and can be a strong and always positive part of your investment portfolio.

Sure, everyone wants to find the next great investment, an investment that will bring them the big bucks and make them an overnight millionaire. Although this does happen, the cases of that are few and far between. Instead, you need to focus on making sure you have a diverse portfolio that will hold you through all times.

Consider this scenario. You see the next big thing coming. You sink all of your money into that particular thing and wait for it to reach the top. Before you get a chance to pull out, the market plummets, taking all of your profits with it and possibly even some of your principal. That's a horror story that comes true for plenty of investors year after year. The flaw in their thought is that they put all of their eggs in that one basket! When the basket fell, everything went with it.

Now consider this scenario. You see the next thing coming and put a good portion of your investment funds in that arena, while still also putting some of your money into more secure or long-term investments like real estate. You again wait for the investments to reach the top, but the bottom falls before you expect. While you may take a major hit on the one side, that other, long term investment side of things you had also been putting money into will still be there and will give you a little bit of a base to rebuild from. You will still have a portfolio with some strength, versus one that is nearly empty.

Real estate is often considered the rock when it comes to investment, just ask Donald Trump who says, "It's tangible, it's solid, it's beautiful. It's artistic, from my standpoint, and I just love real estate."

The good news is while being solid, REITs can still bring a pretty good profit. Consider that many REITs make a 10-14 percent return every year. That's a nice strong return when it happens for 10, 20 or 30 years without fail! If you look at the overall performance of the stock markets and most mutual funds, you will see there is not much difference in the two for long-term returns.

When you're ready to start investing in real estate, you need to make sure you know what you're getting into before you buy. While you could search all over and try to find out for yourself, there is another option as well. Consider a website like offers all the information you need to understand REITs, where they come from and how to best begin investing. In addition, you don't have to go anywhere else when you are ready to add REITs to your portfolio, as they are also investment real estate brokers. It's one stop shopping for a stronger and more secure financial future!