Like every other company, REIT can be publicly or privately held where publicly held REIT is listed on public stock exchanges. REIT, which is publicly traded, is required to file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the American system. The key statistics to observe in case of REIT are Net Asset Value (NAV), Adjusted Funds From Operations (AFFO) and Cash at Disposal (CAD).
REIT invests in different kinds of real estate including different real estate related assets like shopping malls, office buildings and hotels. The most common type of investment is equity real estate investment where the trust invests in or owns the real estate and collects rents for the investors. Mortgage REIT invests money in financial instruments secured by mortgages on real estate and Hybrid REIT are a combination of equity and mortgage real estate investment trusts.
Real Estate Investment Trust offers many advantages to people who do not have sufficient money to invest in real estate but desires to own a piece of property. Real estate investment trusts can offer you regular dividends when the trust uses your money to buy real estate and you may also gain when the share price of the company appreciates. As REIT have to doll out 90% of its taxable profit as dividend to its shareholders, they are usually labeled as high yield instruments similar to a small cap stock generating returns from dividends and share price appreciation.