Real Estate Investment Trusts: A Beginner's Guide

Analysts Issue Forecasts for RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust’s
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What are Real Estate Investment Trusts?

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are companies that own and operate income-producing real estate, such as apartments, hotels, shopping centers, and office buildings. REITs allow investors to own a share of the real estate without having to buy the property outright.

Types of REITs

There are three main types of REITs: 1. Equity REITs: These REITs own and operate income-producing properties and generate revenue from renting out the properties. 2. Mortgage REITs: These REITs provide financing for real estate projects by investing in mortgages and other real estate-related loans. 3. Hybrid REITs: These REITs are a combination of equity and mortgage REITs, owning and operating properties while also providing financing.

How Do REITs Work?

REITs use the money they raise from investors to purchase and manage real estate properties. The income generated from these properties is then distributed to investors in the form of dividends. REITs are required by law to distribute at least 90% of their taxable income to shareholders annually.

Benefits of Investing in REITs

Investing in REITs has several benefits, including: 1. Diversification: REITs give investors the opportunity to diversify their portfolios by investing in real estate without having to purchase property outright. 2. High Dividend Yield: REITs are required by law to distribute at least 90% of their taxable income to shareholders annually, resulting in high dividend yields. 3. Liquidity: REITs can be bought and sold on major stock exchanges like other publicly traded companies, providing investors with liquidity.

Risks of Investing in REITs

As with any investment, there are risks associated with investing in REITs, including: 1. Real Estate Market Cycles: REITs are heavily influenced by the real estate market cycles, and downturns in the market can negatively impact their performance. 2. Interest Rate Risks: REITs rely on debt financing, and increases in interest rates can lead to higher borrowing costs, reducing the income available for distribution to investors. 3. Management Risks: The success of a REIT is heavily dependent on the management team’s ability to select and manage properties effectively.

How to Invest in REITs

Investors can invest in REITs through a broker or by purchasing shares directly from the company. It’s important to do your research and select a REIT that aligns with your investment goals and risk tolerance.


Real Estate Investment Trusts can be a valuable addition to an investor’s portfolio, providing diversification, high dividend yields, and liquidity. However, as with any investment, it’s important to understand the risks associated with REITs and to do your research before investing.