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Investing in REITs: Real Estate Investment Trusts, 4th Edition


Praise for Investing in REITs

"A necessary starting tool for anyone interested in building a foundation in understanding the REIT market."
—Steve Buller REIT Portfolio Manager, Fidelity Investments

"REITs are a great investment idea as they provide a way for investors to gain exposure to an important asset class that is otherwise hard to access. The sector can, however, be daunting for the uninitiated, as it is filled with jargon, performance metrics, and valuation tools that are not typically employed elsewhere. Ralph Block has cut through the clutter and created a must-read road map for anyone investing in REITs."
—Mike Kirby Cofounder, Green Street Advisors

"A perfect blend of street talk and clear thinking that will provide the advice and knowledge that both first-time as well as seasoned REIT investors can benefit from".
—Bryce Blair CEO & Chairman, AvalonBay Communities, Inc.

"If you are a REIT investor, or are thinking of becoming one, Investing in REITs will unlock opportunities for you. Since its first publication in 1998, it remains a must-read for anyone interested in REITs. The first thing I did when I joined NHP in 2003 was read Ralph's book and the best advice I can give you is to do the same."
—Douglas M. Pasquale Chairman of the Board, President & CEO, Nationwide Health Properties, Inc.

Ralph L. Block, has been an active participant in the REIT industry for four decades, as an individual investor, investment advisor, professional money manager, author, publisher, and consultant. Mr. Block is currently the owner and proprietor of Essential REIT Publishing Co. For his many contributions to the REIT industry, Block received the 2004 Industry Achievement Award from the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT).



Part I: Meet the REIT.

Chapter 1: REITs: What They Are and How They Work.

Types of REITs.

General Investment Characteristics.

Higher Current Returns.


Chapter 2: REITs versus Competitive Investments.


Convertible Bonds.

Preferred Stocks.

Other High-Yielding Equities.

Other Real Estate Investment Vehicles.


Chapter 3: Today's REITs.

The First REIT.

The Tax Reform Act of 1986.

UPREITs and DownREITs.

REIT Modernization Act and “RIDEA”.

Lending REITs versus Ownership REITs.

Expansion of REIT Property Sector Offerings.


Chapter 4: Property Sectors and Their Cycles.

Ups and Downs.

Property Sectors.


Part II: History and Mythology.

Chapter 5: REITs: Mysteries and Myths.

Changing Attitudes toward REITs.

Myths about REITs.


Chapter 6: A History of REITs and REIT Performance.

The 1960s: Infancy.

The 1970s: Adolescence and Turbulence.

The 1980s: Overbuilding – The Troll Under the Bridge.

The 1990s: The Modern REIT Era—Plus More Growing Pains.

Recent Trends.


Part III: Investing in REITs Intelligently.

Chapter 7: REITs: Growth and Value Creation.

The Significance of FFO and AFFO.

The Dynamics of FFO/AFFO Growth.

Internal Growth.

How to Build Internal Growth into a Lease.

Other Ways to Generate Internal Growth and To Create Shareholder Value.

External Growth.

More External Growth Avenues.


Chapter 8: Searching for Blue Chips.

Investment Styles.

Growth REITs.

Value or “Turnaround” REITs.

Bond-Proxy REITs.

The Virtues of Blue-Chip REITs.

Access to Capital – and its Benefits.

The importance of Allocating Capital Wisely.


Chapter 9: The Quest for Investment Value.

The Investor's Dilemma: Buy and Hold Versus Trading.

The Buy-and-Hold Strategy.

REIT Stock Valuation.

Valuing REITs as a Group.


Chapter 10: Building a REIT Portfolio.

How Much of a Good Thing Do You Want?

Diversification Among REITs.

Toward A Well-Balanced Portfolio.

How to Get Started.


Chapter 11 Investing in Global REITs and Property Companies.

How the U.S. REIT Revolution Spread around the Globe.

Mapping the Size of Global Property Stock Markets.

The Long-Term Evidence Supporting Investments in Global Real Estate Securities.

Managing a Gobal Real Estate Securities Portfolio.

The Practicalities of Investing Overseas for the Individual Investor.

Part IV: Risks and Future Prospects.

Chapter 12: What Can Go Wrong?

Issues Affecting All REITs.

Problems Affecting Individual REITs.


Chapter 13: Tea Leaves: Some Thoughts about the Future.

Additional Real Estate Owners Will “REITize”.

Increasing Investor Demand for REITs.

Larger REITs: Is Bigger Really Better?

Additional New Trends.

So Much More to Come.



Appendix A: Death and Taxes.

Appendix B: Case Study: FFO, AFFO, FAD and CAD.

Appendix C: Cost of Equity Capital.

Appendix D: REIT Portfolio Management.

Appendix E: Largest Global Real Estate Companies as of December 2010.


About the Author.

About the Contributors.