On December 19, 2012, Inland American Real Estate Trust Inc. stated that its per share price valuation was decreasing from $7.22 per share to $6.93 per share. Securities fraud attorneys say this last devaluation represents a 30 percent decrease from its original price of $10 per share. With assets amounting to $12.2 billion, Inland American REIT is the largest REIT that has seen a decline in valuation recently. Allegedly, the devaluation is a result of increased capitalization rates.
Non-traded REITs such as Inland American carry a relatively high dividend or high interest, making them attractive to investors. And in many cases, stock fraud lawyers say brokers may have represented Inland American REIT as a safe, conservative investment. However, in reality, non-traded REITs are inherently risky and illiquid. Some of the factors that make REITs risky investments are that distributions are not guaranteed, and shares can be very difficult to sell because there is no public trading market. Non-traded REITs’ valuation can be affected by many factors, including the trust’s balance sheet strength, cost of capital, overhead expenses and the portfolio of assets owned.
Public non-traded REITs often carry high commissions that can motivate brokers to recommend them to investors despite the investment’s unsuitability. The commission on a non-traded REIT is often as high as 15 percent. Securities fraud attorneys say that if Inland American REIT was misrepresented by their brokers as safe, clients may be able to recover losses through securities arbitration. Furthermore, some brokers allegedly put a substantial amount of some clients’ assets in the REIT which resulted in an over-concentration that was unsuitable for investors.
If you suffered significant investment losses as a result of your broker’s unsuitable recommendation of Inland American REIT, or an over-concentration in the non-traded REIT, you may be able to recover your losses through securities arbitration. To find out more about your legal rights and options, contact a stock fraud lawyer at The Law Office of Christopher J. Gray at (866) 966-9598 for a no-cost, confidential consultation.