REIT: The Next Big Thing In Real Estate

In real estate lingo, REIT means real-estate investment trust. It is composed of property-investment companies that pay dividends to stockholders with revenue derived from rent and other fees. REITs correspond negatively with the NASDAQ Composite Index and appear to do well when other stocks don’t. They suffered seriously during the late 1990s, but have made a successful comeback in the bear market that began 10 years ago.

In 1960, Congress launched REITs, offering small investors the chance to invest in profit-producing properties. Now, the REIT is popular in a lot of other countries aside from the United States including: Australia, Japan, and Brazil. REITs are not the sole real estate investment instruments available in these countries but all are dependent on the various laws in effect in each nation.

Due to the fact that REITs give the most direct means to purchasing property and avoiding costly hassles, they are very appealing to individual real estate investors. As long as they give out at least 90% of taxable income to investors annually, dividends from REITs are exempt from federal tax. Dividends can amass 8 to 9% per year and they offer predictability almost unheard of on today’s market.

Mutual funds have the same design as REIT’s and grant similar investment structure. They offer every shareholder a pro rata percentage of earnings. The stocks of many REITs are easily found on major stock exchanges. The subtraction of dividends from taxable corporate income is permitted with REITs. Capital gains and any taxes relating to dividends received must be reported by an individual investor.

In 2009, it was estimated that there were about 170 public REITs controlling in excess of $300 billion US dollars. The target of many of these trusts usually involves residential or commercial properties. There are some REITs that are concerned with handling the maintenance and management of the properties within their portfolios and there are also some who employ contractors to do these services.

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