Articles Posted in REIT

Published on:

With increasing frequency, given the current low interest rate environment, retail investors are steered into investing in products appearing to offer more advantageous yields than are available in traditional interest-bearing investments such as money market funds and CDs.  One example is the publicly registered non-exchange traded real estate investment trust (“REIT”) or “non-traded REIT.”  While non-traded REITS share certain similarities with their exchange-traded brethren, they differ in a number of key respects.

15.6.15 money whirlpoolCHARACTERISTICS AND SOME DISADVANTAGES OF NON-TRADED REITS

To begin, a non-traded REIT is not listed for trading on a securities exchange.  Consequently, the secondary market for non-traded REITs is typically very limited in nature.  Furthermore, while some of an investor’s shares may be eligible for redemption after a certain passage of time (e.g., one year), and, even then, on a limited basis subject to certain restrictions, such redemption offers may well be priced below the purchase price or current price of the non-traded REIT.  Thus, lack of liquidity and pricing inefficiency are two disadvantages to non-traded REITs, as opposed to REITs that trade on an exchange (e.g., NYSE: BXP – Boston Properties).

Published on:

Investor arbitration lawyers continue to investigate claims on behalf of customers of VSR Financial Services regarding the unsuitable recommendation and sale of alternative investments.

More Claims Filed Against VSR Brokers for Unsuitable Alternative Investments

Another claim was filed recently against one broker registered with VSR Financial Services, Dennis Van Patter. This particular claim is regarding the following alternative investments:

  • Inland American Real Estate Trust
Published on:

Investment fraud lawyers are currently investigating claims on behalf of investors who suffered significant losses in non-traded real estate investment trusts, or non-traded REITs, in light of an investigation that is now underway by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities.

Pennsylvania Regulators Investigate Non-traded REIT Sales

Reportedly, Pennsylvania regulators are currently looking into non-traded REIT sales conducted by Securities America employees. Securities America is owned by broker-dealer Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc., which also owns two more independent brokerage firms. Ladenburg stated in its annual report that Pennsylvania regulators wanted to be provided with data regarding non-traded REITs purchased by Pennsylvania residents since 2007.

Securities arbitration lawyers are currently unsure if the non-traded REIT sales investigation will extend to firms other than Securities America.

Published on:

Our recent blog post, “Berthel Fisher and Affiliate Fined Regarding Sales of ETFs and Non-Traded REITs,” reported that in February the firm had been fined $775,000 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The FINRA fines addressed alleged supervisory failures, including failure to properly supervise the sale of alternative investments like leveraged and inverse exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs). One claim has already been filed by investment fraud lawyers on behalf of a retired woman in Minnesota.

Claims Against Berthel Fisher for Unsuitable Sale of Alternative Investments Begin

According to the claim, the woman was sold non-traded REITs and other alternative investments by Jonathan Pyne, a broker for Berthel Fisher. The claim argues that her age and low risk tolerance made the investments unsuitable for her. The investments included:

  • Inland American Real Estate Trust
Published on:

Securities fraud attorneys are investigating claims on behalf of customers of LPL Financial LLC. This move comes on the heels of an announcement on March 24, 2014 from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) which stated that the firm had been fined $950,000 for supervisory failures related to alternative investment sales.

Unsuitable Alternative Investment Sales: LPL Customers Could Recover Losses

These investments included:

  • Non-traded real estate investment trusts, or REITs
Published on:

Securities fraud lawyers are currently investigating claims on behalf of the customers of Berthel Fisher & Co. Financial Services Inc. and Securities Management & Research Inc., a Berthel Fisher affiliate in Marion, Iowa. In February, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced that it had fined the two a total of $775,000 for supervisory deficiencies. The deficiencies included Berthel Fisher’s failure to properly supervise the sale of leveraged and inverse exchange-traded funds and non-traded real estate investment trusts.

Berthel Fisher, Affiliate Fined Regarding Sales of ETFs and Non-traded REITs

According to the FINRA investigation’s findings, Berthel Fisher did not have adequate written procedures and supervisory systems in place from January 2008 to December 2012 for the following alternative investments:

  • Non-traded REITs
Published on:

Securities fraud attorneys are currently investigating claims on behalf of investors who suffered significant losses as a result of the unsuitable recommendation and sale of alternative investments. In one recent arbitration claim, filed in Texas, two VSR Financial Services clients are seeking $600,000 in damages that allegedly resulted from the unsuitable recommendation and sale of alternative investments. The investments named in the claim include:

  • NetREIT Common
  • Florida Capital Real Estate Partners 27
Published on:

Non-traded REITs are illiquid investments, not listed on public exchanges and with a very limited market for sale of shares if the investor wishes to sell subsequent to his or her initial purchase.. Their offering documents typically claim that after some period of time, perhaps 5-10 years, the REIT intends to list on an exchange, merge with another company, or in some other way allow investors to sell their shares- a so called “liquidity event.”  However, for many non-traded REITs that began to be sold to investors eight to ten years ago, such a “liquidity event” has failed to take place.  Further, non-traded REIT investments have greatly underperformed other asset classes and in many instances have made distributions to investors that are derived not from income derived from their underlying assets, but rather from the proceeds of the sale of additional shares in the REITs to subsequent investor.

Even if a non-traded REIT lists on a major exchange, that does not mean that its original investors have benefited from being sold such an illiquid investment.  An example of a non-traded REIT that has consistently underperformed similar liquid and publicly-traded investments is Columbia Property Trust (CXP, formerly known as Wells Real Estate Investment Trust II).  Columbia/Wells II was first sold as a non-traded REIT in 2004 and subsequently listed on the New York Stock Exchange in October 2013. Before it was listed, it sold shares to new investors at $10 per share. After its first day trading on the NYSE, its per share value was $22.52. 

However, this $22.52 a share valuation resulted from a four-for-one stock split, meaning that the shares sold for $10.00 a share prior to the IPO were effectively worth only $5.63 a share.   

Published on:

 

Investment fraud lawyers currently are investigating claims on behalf of investors who suffered significant losses as a result of unsuitable recommendations of real estate investment trusts, or REITs. Though the risks of non-traded REITs are now well-known, publicly-traded REITs also are not without risks. Reportedly, many investors suffered significant losses in 2013 because they were invested in these products for the wrong reasons.

Loss Recovery REIT Investors Suffer Significant Losses in 2013

Reportedly, from January until May 2013, investors spent $10.3 billion on real estate funds.  However, in May 2013, the Federal Reserve began discussing tapering  its purchase of assets under the so-called “quantitative easing” policy, causing a spike in interest rates, and REITs suffered a loss of 5.9 percent in that month alone. As prices fell, investors pulled $2.5 billion out of REITs, suffering significant losses. Then, last month, the Federal Reserve tapered its bond-buying program from $85 billion per month to $75 billion per month.

According to a Wall Street Journal article last month, “You should own REITs because you want to diversify some of the risks of stocks and bonds and to combat inflation — not because you are chasing high dividend yields or because you think the hot returns of the past will persist.” The articles goes on to say, “Anyone who overpays for lower-quality, higher-yielding assets could be crushed if interest rates rise sharply.” 

Published on:

Securities fraud attorneys are investigating claims on behalf of customers who suffered significant losses in non-traded REITs as a result of doing business with Gary Chackman, an LPL Financial broker. In December, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority barred Chackman for violating securities industry rules related to the sales of non-traded real estate investment trusts.

LPL Broker Barred for Improper Non-traded REIT Sales Customers Could Recover Losses

The alleged misconduct relates to the time period from 2009 to 2012, but Chackman was registered with LPL between 2001 and 2012. In 2012, his registration was terminated by the firm for violating the firm’s policies and procedures regarding alternative investment sales.

According to the letter of acceptance waiver and consent, Chackman “recommended and effected unsuitable transactions in the accounts of at least eight LPL customers, by overconcentrating his customers’ assets in [REITs] and other illiquid securities.” The letter, dated December 12, 2012, also states that by submitting falsified documents, Chackman “was able to increase his customers’ accounts’ concentration in REITs and other alternative investments beyond the allocation limits established by [LPL].”

Contact Information