By Rachel Puryear, Retired Attorney and Real Estate Broker
Real estate can be a great investment – but for many people, it’s not feasible or practicable to own it. Maybe they cannot afford to buy any, maybe their credit is not good, maybe their lifestyle is not conducive to rooting in one place, or maybe they prefer not to have the responsibility. Being a landlord is also not necessarily the easy money people often think. The good news is, whether you own or not, there are still ways you can invest in real estate and benefit from the market – investing in real estate investment trusts, or “REITS”, is one of them.
Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS):
REITS are basically where a pool of investors invest in income producing properties, and share the returns accordingly. REITS can be for an individual property (or set of properties), or there are REIT-focused stocks, mutual funds and ETF’s (which offer greater diversification than the individual ones). REIT investments can include not only residential rental properties; but other types of properties including commercial and retail property, office buildings, hospital and medical buildings, as well as mortgage loans.
Check out this list of top performing REIT stocks, REIT mutual funds, and REIT ETF’s for last year.
Note: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has cautioned consumers against investing in non-traded REITS, and recommends investing only in publicly-traded REITS. (Due to non-traded REITS tending to be difficult or impossible to resell, conflicts of interest, using principal to make distributions which dilutes the investment, high fees, and a lack of transparency about share values.)
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