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Study finds REIT allocations perform best of any asset class

by Andrea Waitrovich

Listed equity REITs had the highest net total returns between 1988 and 2014, but levels were low during the survey period, according to a study by CEM Benchmarking, an independent provider of benchmarking information for institutional investors, sponsored by NAREIT.

The study examines fund performance and capital allocations for more than 200 public and private pension funds over the 17-year period from 1998 to 2014. It compares gross and net average annual total returns as well as net compound returns across 12 asset classes: U.S. large-cap equity, U.S. small-cap equity, non-U.S. equity, U.S. long bonds, U.S. broad fixed income, U.S. other fixed income, non-U.S. fixed income, private equity, hedge funds/TAA, unlisted real estate, listed equity REITs and other real assets.

During that same period, the highest-returning asset classes on an arithmetic net return basis were REITs, at 11.95 percent, followed by private equity (11.37 percent) and U.S. small-cap sto

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