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Articles Tagged with REITs

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Non-traded real estate investment trusts (“REITs”), such as KBS REIT I (“KBS I”), unlike exchange traded REITs, are complex and risky investment vehicles that do not trade on a national securities exchange such as the NYSE or NASDAQ.  Unfortunately, retail investors are often uninformed by their broker or money manager of the illiquid nature of non-traded REITs, meaning that investors who wish to sell their shares can only do so through a direct redemption with the issuer or through a fragmented and illiquid secondary market.

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KBS I launched through its initial public offering (“IPO”) in early 2006 for issuance of up to 200 million shares.  Through its IPO at $10 per share, KBS I raised $1.7 billion prior to closing in May 2008.  The company’s portfolio includes nearly 200 properties, in addition to participation in various real estate loan receivables.

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Securities Litigation Consulting Group of Fairfax, Virginia has estimated that shareholders of non-traded REITs are about $50 billion worse off for having put money into non-traded REITs rather than exchange-traded REITs. The estimate is based on the difference between the performance of more than 80 non-traded REITs and the performance of a diversified portfolio of publicly-traded REITs over a period of twenty years. According to research by the consultancy, the difference in performance between the two asset groups is largely due to the relatively high up-front expenses associated with non-traded REITs.

15.6.15 money whirlpoolNon-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) are investments that pose a significant risk that the investor will lose some or all of his initial investment. Non-traded REITs are not listed on a national securities exchange, limiting investors’ ability to sell them after the initial purchase. Such illiquid and risky investments are often better suited for sophisticated and institutional investors, rather than retail investors such as retirees who do not wish to have their money tied up for years, or risk losing a significant portion of their investment. Non-traded REITs usually have higher fees for investors than publicly-traded REITs and can be harder to sell.

A partial list of non-traded REITs is as follows (not all of the REITs listed have performed poorly):

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Inland American REIT has changed its name to Inventrust Properties Corp. In addition, the Company’s SEC fillings report a recent tender offer of $2.00 per unit from Mackenzie Realty. The $2.00 a share tender offer represents a sharp dropoff from Inland American’s initial offering price of $10.00 a share.

15.6.11 building explodesInland American is an enormous company- the largest of the giant non-traded REITS. The Company had raised a total of approximately $8.0 billion of gross offering proceeds as of December 31, 2008.

Inland American is a non-traded REIT, meaning that its shares are not listed on a national securities exchange. However, sales of shares in non-traded REITs, which file periodic reports with the Securities Exchange Commission as do listed companies, are not limited to accredited investors and shares are sold to the general public through brokers.

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Investor lawyers say the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) found supervisory deficiencies related to investment concentration at leading independent broker-dealer LPL Finanical.    As a result of alleged unsuitable recommendations, FINRA has announced a penalty in the form of a $950,000 against LPL Financial.

Supervisory Failure Leaves LPL Financial with Heavy Fines

Alternative investments can include a variety of products, including oil and gas partnerships, hedge funds, non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), business development companies (BDCs) and other related categories.  Though LPL Financial set forth guidelines to manage investment concentration, FINRA reports that from January 2008 until July 2012, there was no internal effort to enforce these guidelines.  As a result, some clients may have received investment advice that resulted in levels of concentration that were excessive.

 If you suffered significant losses as a result of an unsuitable recommendation to purchase or over-concentrate your portfolio in non-conventional investments (whether from LPL or another stockbroker or financial advisor), you may be able to recover your losses through securities arbitration. To find out more about your legal rights and options, contact a securities arbitration lawyer at Law Office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C. at (866) 966-9598 or for a no-cost, confidential consultation.

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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
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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.” 

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