Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

Value investing is defined as a systematic process of buying high quality stock at an undervalued market price quantified by intrinsic value and justified via financial analysis; then selling the stock in a timely manner upon market price recovery.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are considered excellent long-term investments. There are two underlying reasons. First, under the Internal Revenue Code, they are considered income tax free investments. To comply, the REIT must distribute at least 90% of all net income earned to shareholders. The shareholders pay income tax on those dividends received. Because of the dividend distribution requirement, REITs have excellent dividend yields. This is why REITs are considered perfect investments for widow and orphan funds whereby cash is necessary to fund the monthly payments to annuitants. Secondly, similar to any real estate investment, time is beneficial to the overall value of the REIT’s fixed assets. No differently than owning a home, time allows the underlying asset to increase in value. Thus, the normal pattern for a REIT’s market price should be a slow and continuously positive increase over time. Long-term resale of the stock should provide capital gains for the investor. Putting the two financial benefits together creates an excellent long-term return on one’s investment in the stock.

REITWith value investing, the concept is to own quality stocks at good prices. This matches the primary concept of business – ‘Buy Low, Sell High’. When the price returns to normal, proceed to sell the stock and continue the pattern. The long-term outcome is significantly greater returns than many of the common market indicators (DOW Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, Russell 2000, etc.).

REIT’s are generally high quality investments. Their financial statements are moderately difficult to read due to two uncommon financial measurement indicators of 1) funds from operations (FFO) and 2) normalized funds from operations. However, with an understanding of basic accounting reporting information and how FFO is quantified, a reader of REIT financial reports can quickly ascertain overall performance of the entity.

Analyzing and evaluating REITs is similar to owning residential property as a landlord. However, the scale is exponentially greater; practically eliminating variances. In effect, there is improved predictability and reliance on the information provided. Intrinsic value is tied to market value of the respective apartment complexes. There are several articles within this section explaining and illustrating how to determine and apply fair market values for apartment complexes.

With REITs, investors look for three key financial indicators of performance. First, is the dividend yield percentage. This matches the landlord’s desire for cash flow from their investment in real estate. Secondly, holders of rental property desire positive net income in order to assure adequate proceeds to make the principal payments on any mortgages associated with the property. Finally, landlords want to ensure that their rents charged mirror the economic conditions of the property’s location. With publicly traded REITs, this is evaluated with the fixed assets turnover ratio.

Earning a good return on a REIT investment requires a long-term view. Rarely do REIT investments recover quickly; it takes several quarters to reaffirm to shareholders the company’s performance. Thus, there is a longer outlook required with this type of investment. Adherence to the fourth principle of value investing, patience, is definitely required.

Within this section of the Value Investment Fund, you must be a member of the Value Investment Club to access the articles, spreadsheets, resources and respective buy/sell model. 

Value Investing Episode 1 – Introduction and Membership Program

  • Purchased 43.2994 Shares Essex Property Trust

    Purchased 43.2994 Shares Essex Property Trust
    Today, the Value Investment Fund purchased a second tranche of Essex Property Trust. After calculating the intrinsic value of Essex Property Trust at $256, the REITs Pool allocated $10,000 for a second purchase of Essex once the price dipped below $230 per share. Today, 01/11/21 at 12:38 PM, the stock price dropped to $229.95.
  • Sold Essex Property Trust – 74.07% Annual Return

    Sold Essex Property Trust - 74.07% Annual Return
    On June 18, 2021 at 2:56 PM, Essex's share price dropped to $304 per share triggering a stop-loss order purchased a month earlier. This automatic sale of all 92.2638 shares netted $302 per share. The Value Investment Fund pays $1 per share for any transaction and also pays $1 per share for any option or market mechanism such as the stop-loss directive. Total adjusted sales revenue equals $27,863.67 ($302/Share X 92.2638 Shares). Basis in Essex Property Trust is $20,000 including the original purchase price plus the purchase transaction fee of $1 per share. The Fund profited $7,863.67. The total holding period was 201 days. Thus, the actual return on the investment was 39.32%. The effective annual return equates to 71.4%.
  • Sold Equity Residential for $83 per Share/Purchased at $52 per Share

    Sold Equity Residential for $83 per Share/Purchased at $52 per Share
    Throughout the last five months, over several different articles, the Fund stated that the goal for this particular investment within the REITs pool was to sell once the stock price hit $83 per share. On July 15, 2021 at 10:23 AM, the stock price hit $83 per share triggering the automatic sale of all 574.459 shares. Total net receipts after deducting $1 per share for the transaction costs were $47,105.64 (574.459 * $82 net per share). Basis in this investment was $30,000 including the $1 transaction fee per share at purchase. Net earnings totaled $17,105.64.
  • Essex Property Trust – Value Investment Fund Buy

    Essex Property Trust - Value Investment Fund Buy
    Recently, the Fund reevaluated Essex Property Trust Inc. and increased the company's intrinsic value to $291 per share. In an article written in January of 2021, the Facilitator determined intrinsic value at $256 per share. In the course of one year, many market forces have elevated this intrinsic value higher. With real estate investment trusts (REITs), intrinsic value is strongly tied to fair market value of properties. At the end of 2020, the overall fair market value of the entire portfolio of apartments for Essex was estimated at net assets value (adjusted for closing costs, costs to sell, pay-off of associated debt and costs to eliminate book balance of financing outlays) of $19.14 Billion. This made each share worth approximately $283. During the last 16 months, the market value of real estate has jumped over 16%. Using a mere 12% adjustment to this portfolio, the modified net assets value now exceeds $21.8 Billion. This alone adds $36 per share in value. Utilizing net assets value by itself warrants an intrinsic value of $319 per share. And this assumes only a 12% increase in value over 16 months.
  • Essex Property Trust, Inc. – Sold PUTs

    The Fund uses options, specifically PUTs, to augment the income and boost the overall return of the Fund. The concept is simple. The Fund wants to own certain pre-qualified investments at certain prices; that is, market prices that are well below intrinsic value as calculated for the respective investments. These investments are basically top 2,000 companies trading in the United States, have a good history of performance and are highly stable. Currently, there are 49 researched potential investments spread among 8 different industry pools. Within the REITs Pool sits a well respected and well managed REIT, Essex Property Trust, Inc.
  • Bought Essex Property Trust

    Bought Essex Property Trust
    On June 14, 2022, the Value Investment Fund purchased 77.7000 shares of Essex Property Trust at $256.40 per share. Adding the $1 per share transaction fee, a total of $20,000 was invested into this security. In addition, the Fund sold a PUT option for 100 shares at $9.90 netting $8.80 per share. The strike price is $240 per share with an expiration date of October 21, 2022.

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