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Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

Real Estate Investment Trusts or REITs have revolutionized the way people invest in real estate, making it accessible to investors of all sizes.

This page explores the following topics:

  • What are REITs?
  • REIT investing
  • How are REITs taxed?
  • Best REITs to invest in
  • How to invest in REITs
  • Are REITs a good investment?
  • Why not to invest in REITs

What are REITs?

REITs, or Real Estate Investment Trusts, offer broad market access to real estate investments. Established by Congress in 1960, they enable small and large investors alike to partake in the ownership of income-producing real estate.

If you are looking to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, which is what I specialize in, you can email me (advice@adamfayed.com) or WhatsApp (+44-7393-450-837).

A REIT company owns, operates, or finances income-generating real estate across a range of property sectors.

What are REITs

Real Estate Investment Trusts operate within the real estate sector by adhering to a set of federal regulations designed to ensure significant income returns to investors.

This structure promotes transparency, liquidity, and a steady income stream for investors, contributing significantly to the allure of real estate investment trust investing in the financial market.

Types of REITs

There are primarily three types of Real Estate Investment Trusts: Equity, Mortgage, and Hybrid.

Equity REITs own and manage income-generating real estate properties.

Mortgage REITs provide financing for income-producing real estate by purchasing or originating mortgages and mortgage-backed securities.

Hybrid REITs combine the investment strategies of equity and mortgage REITs. They own and manage properties and invest in real estate mortgages or mortgage-backed securities.

How Are REITs Taxed?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) mandates that real estate investment trusts distribute at least 90% of their taxable income to shareholders.

This requirement allows the investment to avoid paying corporate taxes at the entity level, shifting the tax obligation to the investors.

REITs Pros and Cons

Investors can diversify their portfolios, create passive income, and protect themselves from inflation by being aware of the possible advantages. On the other hand, by being aware of the dangers connected to REITs, investors may better control their exposure, minimize possible losses, and steer clear of unanticipated market downturns.

REIT Investing

This offers a distinct avenue for individuals to participate in the real estate market without the need to directly buy or manage properties.

These trusts enable investors to earn a share of the income produced through commercial real estate ownership without actually having to buy the real estate themselves.

By investing in real estate investment trusts, investors gain exposure to real estate without the complexities of direct property ownership.

Real Estate Investor

Reit investing

A real estate investor is an individual or entity that allocates capital with the expectation of receiving a financial return in the real estate market. Real estate investors aim to generate income through rental yields, benefit from capital appreciation, or achieve a combination of both.

For real estate investors, integrating real estate investment trusts into an investment portfolio offers diversification, liquidity, and income generation.

Investing allows you to access various real estate sectors, including commercial, residential, healthcare, and retail properties, without the complexities of direct property ownership.

Are REITs a Good Investment?

Real estate investment trusts investing offers a compelling way to participate in the real estate market. By analyzing REITs’ performance compared to other investments, such as stocks, bonds, and direct real estate, investors can gauge their potential for portfolio enhancement.

They can be a good investment for those seeking income and diversification. Their requirement to distribute most taxable income as dividends offers investors a steady income stream. Additionally, the real estate market’s inherent value provides a level of security against inflation.

Why Not to Invest in REITs?

Investing in real estate investment trusts offers a pathway to diversify investment portfolios and access real estate markets without owning physical properties.

However, like any investment, this comes with its set of challenges and might not suit every investor’s profile. Understanding the potential downsides is crucial before adding REITs to your investment strategy.

How to Invest in REITs

One straightforward method to invest in real estate investment trusts is through purchasing shares directly on the stock market.

For those seeking diversification within real estate investments, REIT mutual funds and ETFs offer a compelling option.

Creating a diversified portfolio within REIT investing involves spreading investments across various sectors of the real estate market, such as residential, commercial, healthcare, and retail REITs.

Best REITs to Invest In

Retail, residential, healthcare, industrial, and office REITs are among the best ones.

Criteria for Choosing the Best REITs

Reit investing

When engaging in real estate investment trusts, selecting the top-performing ones stands as a crucial step toward ensuring a robust portfolio.

Investors should consider several key factors:


Look for real estate investment trusts with assets in different geographical locations and sectors. Diversification reduces risk and provides stability, even when certain markets face downturns.

Financial Health

Analyze the financial statements. A strong balance sheet, consistent revenue growth, and a healthy debt-to-equity ratio indicate a REIT’s ability to sustain dividends and navigate economic fluctuations.

Dividend Yield and Growth

High dividend yields attract many to REITs investing. However, consider the dividend growth rate as well, which reflects the potential for future profitability.

Occupancy Rates

High occupancy rates suggest strong demand for the REIT’s properties, leading to stable income streams. This is a vital metric in assessing a REIT’s performance.

Management Team

The track record and experience of the management team play a significant role in its success. Effective management can navigate challenges and seize growth opportunities.

High Dividend REITs

Investing in high dividend real estate investment trusts can be an attractive option for investors seeking steady income streams alongside the potential for capital appreciation.

These typically operate in robust sectors that generate consistent cash flow, allowing them to distribute generous dividends to shareholders. 

How to Purchase REITs

Investing in real estate investment trusts offers an accessible way to enter the real estate market without buying physical properties. To start with investing, you must understand how to purchase these securities effectively. 

Here’s a straightforward guide to acquiring REIT shares through brokerage accounts and online platforms, ensuring you use the asset class to diversify your investment portfolio successfully.

  • Select a Brokerage Account: Look for platforms that offer a wide range of REITs, including both publicly traded on stock exchanges and non-traded ones, if you’re interested in those. Consider fees, ease of use, and available research tools when selecting your brokerage.
  • Research REITs: Before investing, conduct thorough research to identify those that align with your investment goals. Assess their track record, dividend yield, sector focus (such as retail, healthcare, or residential REITs), and risk factors. Utilizing the real estate investment trust investing section on financial news websites and analysis from real estate investment platforms can provide valuable insights.
  • Open and Fund Your Account: Once you’ve chosen a brokerage, open your account by providing the required personal information. Funding your account can typically be done via bank transfer, check, or even wire transfer. Make sure you have sufficient funds to cover your intended investment and any associated fees.
  • Place Your Order: After identifying the real estate investment trust you want to invest in and ensuring you have adequate funds, place your order. You can buy shares of publicly traded REITs just like any other stock, by entering the ticker symbol and specifying the number of shares you wish to purchase. Decide whether you want to use a market order (buying at the current price) or a limit order (setting a price at which you’re willing to buy).
  • Monitor Your Investment: After purchasing REIT shares, it’s crucial to monitor your investment. Keep an eye on the performance of the investment, changes in dividend payouts, and any news related to the real estate market or specific sectors invested in. This requires staying informed to make timely decisions about holding, selling, or buying more shares.

Tips for First-Time REIT Investors

If you’re new to REITs investing, consider starting with a modest investment to familiarize yourself with the market dynamics without taking significant risks.

Don’t put all your funds into a single real estate investment trust. Investing in multiple sectors can reduce risk and stabilize returns.

Pay attention to the dividend yield and payout history, as dividends are a significant component of the returns from investing.

If available, take advantage of Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRIPs), which automatically reinvest dividends into additional shares, compounding your investment over time.

Pained by financial indecision? Want to invest with Adam?

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Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 760.2 million answer views on Quora.com, a widely sold book on Amazon, and a contributor on Forbes.

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