- March 2, 2015: Vol. 2, Number 3

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The Case for REITs: Diversification to the Fore

by Brad Case

The first quarter of the year means it is time for financial advisers to provide two of their most important services: helping clients through an annual review of their investment strategies, and helping them benefit from tax-advantaged accounts.  Here is how listed REITs can help you perform better in both respects.

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are companies whose main business is owning income-producing real estate assets. Equity REITs lease out physical assets of every type from office buildings and shopping malls to rental apartments and senior-living facilities to data centers and cellular communication towers; mortgage REITs earn income from mortgages and mortgage-backed securities.

Congress developed REITs more than 50 years ago to make the portfolio benefits of commercial real estate investment available to all types of investors. Chief among those benefits is diversification: taking advantage of big differences among asset classes to reduce the “bu

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