What is a REIT?

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The acronym for a real estate investment trust is a REIT. According to the National Institute of Real Estate Investment Trusts 190 Re Its are currently registered with the SEC and trade on one or more of the New York Stock Exchanges. There are over 900 REITS that are privately held companies.

The advantage to the investor in the REIT is the source of income it provides. Specifically, due to the structure of the REIT it does not accrue corporate tax, instead it returns all of the taxable income to investors. The investor receives a 1099 form for tax purposes and it is therefore taxed like additional income.

The REIT can be designed to fit almost any scenario available in the real property world. It can play the upside and the downside and provide hybrid type coverage. Primarily the REIT is composed of commercial property including shopping malls, apartment complexes and income producing property. It also is packaged with residential real estate of a particular type.

The influence of the REIT has seen increased interests to investors for providing income and a compliment to their portfolio of stocks and bonds. Because of the intricacies of the real estate market and commercial property in particular the investor should consult with a qualified REIT broker or investment advisor. Lists of REITs are available through Morningstar or may be reviewed on-line at the National Institute of Real Estate Investment Trusts.

Troubled waters can be avoided:

The current Summer and Fall 2007 concerns about real estate mortgages and a slow down in some United States real estate markets does not mean the REIT investment is in jeopardy.

There are certain REITS in the United States that are hybrids that afford the investor with security in good times and troubling areas of the market.

It should also be remembered that REITs are available for nearly all of the world real estate markets. In many parts of the world, China, Asia, Europe and Dubai the real estate market in both commercial and residential income property is sizzling. There is stability in these parts of the world for some hefty returns for investors.

Purpose:

The overall purpose of the REIT envisioned by the U.S. Congress was to provide a means for investors and in turn the developers of real estate to mutually benefit from growth. It places the average investor in a position of being a big player with the benefit of a share of the profits. A small investment in a REIT can enhance a portfolio of stocks and bonds. Each investment dollar goes into enhancing or creating the availability of funds for building realty.

Due to the nature of the REIT, it must be organized and structured according to strict guidelines. The SEC guidelines apply to those REITS public traded on the New York Stock Exchange and governs those REITS listed with the exchange. Privately held REITS must comply with IRS standards and other state and federal laws pertaining to trusts.

The REIT is an investment that any investor should consider and review the merits with a trusted financial planner with the expertise in the REIT market world wide.

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