Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs): A Beginner’s Guide to Diversifying Your Investment Portfolio

Diversifying Your Portfolio with REITs

Real Estate Investment Trusts, or REITs, are an increasingly popular investment option for those wishing to diversify their portfolios. REITs allow investors to invest in real estate without actually owning or managing the property. Instead, they own shares of a company that owns and manages real estate properties. In this article, we will provide a beginner’s guide to REITs, including what they are, how they work, and the potential benefits and risks associated with investing in them.

What are REITs?

REITs are companies that own and operate income-generating real estate properties. They were created by the United States Congress in 1960 to give small investors the opportunity to invest in large-scale, income-producing real estate. REITs are required to distribute at least 90% of their taxable income to shareholders as dividends, which makes them attractive to income-seeking investors. They can be publicly traded on major stock exchanges, or they can be private, non-traded entities.

How do REITs Work?

REITs own and manage various types of income-producing real estate, such as office buildings, shopping centers, hotels, and apartment complexes, among others. They generate income by renting out space in their properties and may also earn capital gains by buying and selling properties. REITs are divided into two categories: equity REITs and mortgage REITs.

Equity REITs, which are the more common type, own and manage income-generating properties and earn income from rent and property appreciation.

Mortgage REITs invest in mortgages and other types of real estate debt. They earn income from the interest paid on these mortgages and other loans.

Benefits of Investing in REITs

  • Diversification: Investing in REITs allows investors to diversify their portfolios beyond traditional stocks and bonds. Real estate, as an asset class, tends to perform differently as compared to stocks and bonds, and can provide investors with greater diversification and potential risk reduction.
  • High dividend yields: Because REITs are required to distribute at least 90% of their taxable income as dividends to shareholders, they tend to offer high dividend yields, which can be attractive to income-seeking investors.
  • Professional management: REITs are managed by experienced professionals who have the knowledge and expertise to maximize the returns on their real estate investments.

Risks of Investing in REITs

  • Interest rate risk: REITs may be sensitive to changes in interest rates, which can affect the value of their properties and their ability to generate income.
  • Real estate market risk: REITs are exposed to the risks of the real estate market, which can be affected by factors such as supply and demand, interest rates, and economic conditions.
  • Market volatility: Like other investments, the value of REITs can be affected by market volatility and fluctuations in share prices.


REITs can be a good investment option for those seeking to diversify their portfolios and earn income from real estate investments. However, like any investment, they come with risks and should be carefully evaluated before investing. It’s important to do your research and seek the advice of a financial professional before making any investment decisions.

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Jeff Sekinger

Jeff Sekinger Founder & CEO, 0 Percent Who is Jeff Sekinger? Visionary Trailblazer Jeff Sekinger has been in the financial industry for over a decade. Starting out as a JP

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