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What is a REIT?

A Real Estate Investment Trust, commonly referred to as a REIT, is a corporation that owns commercial real estate or mortgages.  One of the main reasons to invest in REITs is for the income they produce. For a corporation to be classified as a REIT by the IRS it has to return 90% of its taxable income back to its shareholders.

REITs have been in existence for more than 50 years and can be publicly traded on exchanges (there are more than 200 such companies) or private corporations, of which there is more than 1,100. Publicly traded REITs have a…

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