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- November 1, 2016; Vol. 3, Number 11

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REITs in the Spotlight: More than ever, they are an effective way for individual investors to access global real estate

by Gregg Fisher

Sept. 1 marked an important milestone for the real estate investment trust (REIT) industry. Effective that date, real estate became the 11th sector in the Global Industry Classification Standard — the first new sector since Standard & Poor’s and MSCI formulated GICS in 1999. Here’s how MSCI explains the GICS addition: “With the creation of the new Real Estate Sector, we acknowledge its growing importance in today’s global economy. This change will elevate its position from under the Financial Sector, recognizing Real Estate as a distinct asset class and a foundational building block of a modern portfolio.”

I am aware of some industry projections that atsunami of tens of billions of dollars of new capital will pour into real estate once it is a separate and distinct sector (indeed, the looming change may already have stimulated inflows into REITs this year). I have no idea if those forecasts will be realized, but it is easy

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