Please allow me to skip a fuller introduction of myself – time is short, your time valuable, and article word counts understandably limited.
First, thank you for including me in The Property Chronicle. I am honored and humbled to share my weekly articles about the world of U.S. Real Estate investing, with a new and important audience. (Please read my bio for my background and accomplishments about which I am proud.)
This initial article appeared in a somewhat longer version on July 4, 2018, and was admittedly, patriotic.
I believe the “American Dream” is not limited to our shoreline. And I want to share, in this piece, some of what makes this dream a reality for millions of people – not just inside our borders.
My life has been dedicated in the arena of Commercial Real Estate – as a developer (right out of school), as an multi-year investor, and now, for nearly a decade writing on the topic, as author of several books, on numerous websites (and now here!), as editor of a monthly subscription newsletter at Forbes, and for select companies and private clients as a REIT consultant and advisor.
Real Estate Investment Trust.
In the U.S., REITs were established by the Congress in 1960 to give all investors, especially small investors, access to income-producing real estate. Since then, the U.S. REIT approach has flourished and served as the model for more than 35 countries around the world. (My book, The Intelligent REIT Investor is now available in China.)
On Sept. 14, 1960, President Eisenhower signed legislation that created a new approach to income-producing real estate investment – in which the best attributes of real estate and stock-based investment are combined. REITs, for the first time, brought the benefits of commercial real estate investment to all investors – benefits that previously had been available only through large financial intermediaries and to wealthy individuals.
The REIT approach to real estate investment has been refined and enhanced over the years. REITs in the U.S. and increasingly around the world now regularly provide investors the opportunity for meaningful dividends, portfolio diversification, valuable liquidity, enviable transparency and competitive performance.
Investors have responded to this investment opportunity. Nearly six decades after their creation, the U.S. REIT industry has grown to a $1 trillion equity market capitalization representing nearly $3 trillion in gross real estate assets, with more than $2 trillion of that total from public listed and non-listed REITs and the remainder from privately held REITs. That growth led, in part, to the creation of the new Real Estate headline sector in the Global Industry Classification Standard in 2016.
Since their creation in 1960, REITs have grown in size, impact and market acceptance. The creation of headline real estate sectors – populated mainly by REITs – in leading industry classification standards underscores the growing importance of REIT-based real estate investment in the equities marketplace.
In addition to the core “food groups” – retail, office, apartments, and industrial – the REIT sector has expanded into a collection of property sectors and sub-sectors, including data centers, cell towers, prisons, hotels, self-storage, healthcare, net lease, student housing, single family residential, energy, billboards, and casinos.