In today’s economy, the focus is on building long-term investments that are safe and secure. One such investment vehicle that has gained popularity in recent times is Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). REITs provide the opportunity to invest in real estate without having to buy properties yourself, making them an attractive option for many investors. In this article, we will delve into the nitty-gritty of REITs and provide you with everything you need to know before investing in them.

What are Real Estate Investment Trusts?

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are companies that own and operate income-generating real estate assets such as apartment buildings, office buildings, industrial facilities, warehouses, hotels, and shopping centers. Investing in a REIT is similar to investing in a mutual fund, but instead of owning a portfolio of stocks, you own a portfolio of real estate assets. The primary benefits of REITs are diversification, liquidity, and yield.

The Pros of Investing in Real Estate Investment Trusts

There are several benefits to investing in REITs, including:

  • Diversification: REITs allow you to diversify your portfolio by investing in a variety of real estate assets, reducing the risks associated with investing in a single property.
  • Liquidity: REITs are listed on stock exchanges, which means they can be bought and sold like stocks, providing investors with easy access to their investment assets.
  • Yield: REITs are required to distribute at least 90% of their taxable income to investors in exchange for tax benefits. This results in high dividend payouts, providing investors with stable and steady income streams.

The Cons of Investing in Real Estate Investment Trusts

While the benefits of investing in REITs are significant, it’s important to consider the cons as well. Some of the most significant drawbacks to investing in REITs are:

  • Volatile Returns: REITs’ returns can be volatile since they are susceptible to changes in the real estate market and interest rates.
  • No Tax Benefits: REITs cannot pass tax benefits to their shareholders like other types of partnerships or limited liability companies (LLCs) can.
  • Management Risks: REITs are managed by professionals who make strategic decisions about operations and property management that can impact investor returns.

Tips for Investing in Real Estate Investment Trusts

To make the most of your REIT investments, consider the following tips:

  • Start small: It’s best to start small by investing in a few REITs to evaluate their performance and your comfort level with the investment vehicle.
  • Research the management team: Understand the experience and expertise of the management team, including their track record in managing REITs.
  • Review the portfolio: Review the properties the REIT owns and its diversification across different property types, geographies, and tenants.
  • Check the dividend yield: Investigate the dividend yield and payout ratio of the REIT, as excessive payout ratios can indicate an unsustainable dividend yield.
  • Know the tax implications: Understand the tax implications of investing in REITs, including the tax treatment of dividends and capital gains, and the consequences of switching from one REIT to another.


Are REITs a safe investment?

REITs are generally considered a safe investment vehicle since they provide diversification, liquidity, and yield. However, like any investment, there are risks involved, such as market volatility and management risks.

Do REITs pay dividends?

Yes, REITs are required to distribute at least 90% of their taxable income to investors in exchange for tax benefits. This results in high dividend payouts, providing investors with stable and steady income streams.

Can I invest in REITs through my 401(k) plan?

Yes, many 401(k) plans offer REIT investment options. Check with your plan administrator to see if REITs are part of your investment choices.

What is the minimum investment for REITs?

The minimum investment for REITs varies, but large public REITs can be purchased for a few hundred dollars. Some private REITs, however, may require a minimum investment of $25,000 or more.

How are REITs taxed?

REITs are exempt from federal income tax, but they are required to distribute at least 90% of their taxable income to investors. Investors are taxed on dividends and capital gains, which are taxed at the ordinary income tax rate.


Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) provide an attractive investment opportunity for investors looking to diversify their portfolios, invest in real estate, and earn high dividend payouts. However, before investing in REITs, it’s essential to understand the potential risks and rewards, research the management team and portfolio, and know the tax implications. With the right strategy and investment approach, REITs can provide a safe and steady stream of income for long-term investors.

By Zhang Quan

Zhang Quan is Minted millennial Writer and Editor.