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Investing in REITS: Real Estate Investment Trusts - Revised and Updated Edition (REIT) 2nd Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1576600436
ISBN-10: 1576600432
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Block is Executive Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager at Bay Isle Financial Corporation. He had a 30-year career as a corporate attorney and has been a board member and general cousel to a number of public and private corporations.
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Product Details

  • Series: Bloomberg Financial (Book 85)
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomberg Press; 2 edition (April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576600432
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576600436
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #521,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Real Estate Investment Trusts, or REITs, that, in my opinion, are more of an asset class, like fixed income bonds, than a sector of the general stock market. Every investor should be familar with this asset class just as every investor should be familar with fixed the income class. One can choose not to invest in REITs, just as one can decide to be 100 per cent in equities, but the choice should be an informed one. "Investing in REITs" by Ralph Block is an informative and clear introduction to REITs suitable for new investors. Investors who have followed REITs for a couple of years will also benefit from the book.
Part 1 of this book give an overview of REITs. In particular Chapter 2 shows why REITs are different (not better) than than electric utilities, bonds, and preferred stocks.
Part 2 of this book discusses the history of REITs and then some of the myths regarding REITs. REITs have been around since 1962 when a law was passed that excluded REITs from corporation tax if they paid out 95% of their taxable income as dividends. Before 1962 small investors could invest in real estate in limited partnerships. The myths probably arose because investors confused REITs with these limited partnerships.
Part 3 discusses how professionals evaluate REITs. For most equities earnings are the important number to look at. But real estate can throw off alot of depreciation for tax purposes, but the real estate is not really depreciating (very much hopefully). The numbers used to evaluate REITs FFO, AFFO, NAV (and much more) are explained in this part. By the way the balance sheet and income statements of REITs are much easier to understand, in my opinion, than other corporations. That's because most of the assets are hard assets and the revenues are stable.
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Comment 28 of 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First, I have no connection with Ralph Block or any of the enterprises he was previously or is currently associated with.

When the current edition of his book ("cobalt cover") was newly out, I took an online course from Block using the book as text. I was engaged in a total immersion crash course in investing (long overdue), being newly retired and confronted with managing for income a rollover IRA (having disengaged a 401K from my former employer) which was my primary asset outside of my house. The market had just crashed, and would go down further. Better late than never, but a painful six months educational process, as I learned how to reconfigure and manage the IRA myself.

The book and course convinced me that REITs belonged in my portfolio and I allocated a portion of it (initially 7%) to a combination of individual REITs and a highly rated REIT mutual fund. Prices were down along with the rest of the market, so in that respect it was beginners luck.

However, I used Block as a mentor and watched which REITs he favored in a fund he managed (which had too high an entry investment threshold for me to get into myself). I acquired a few more individual REITs in the following year when the market dipped. It has turned out to be a valuable investment and helped noticeably to reduce risk by diversifying the portfolio, and has also yielded a steady portion of income. The book was essential for review and reference in the practical business of managing my REIT segment of a "long haul" and income portfolio, vetting possible acquisitions and navigating the jargon of REIT annual reports.

I would note that Block puts out a monthly newletter discussing the REIT world, online at Essentialreit.com site: recommended for keeping uptodate.
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Comment 33 of 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
Since the original "Investing in REITs" was published in 1998, much has changed in REITville. REITs endured a minor bear market in 1998 and 1999, the Congress passed the REIT Modernization Act of 1999, and the investing public found REITs a profitable place to invest as the rest of market fell away from them in 2000 and 2001. This book is an interesting and enjoyable text as the reader is guided through the history of REITS, property sectors, and a plain math approach to REIT analysis. The author revises the original book to include discussion of recent legislation which changes the amount of income that must distributed to shareholders and the rules which allows REITs to own taxable subsidiaries, and on a recent study that demonstrates the merit of including REITs in every diversified portfolio to provide currrent income, less volitility, and better returns. He also updates his "reading of the tea leaves", where he predicts the future for REITs. "Investing in REITs" is a must read for everyone who wants to know how to build a REIT portfolio.
Comment 15 of 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
Ralph has done a great job of leading the new REIT investor through the tangle of understanding REITs from their humble inception in 1960 through 2001. He does a good job of explaining why things have happened as they have, and to build our confidence in this from of investment...particular those who wish to invest for the long term dividend.
What would be nice is to carry this concept through its logical conclusion, and demonstrate how to get the data on the internet to measure a REIT's ability to maintain and continue to grow its dividend going forward, with practical examples of how to pull numbers off of a REIT's 10Q and 10K annual earnings reports, calculate FFO and AFFO and Fixed Cost Coverage Ratios.
I hope he follows up with a book that will take us to this next step.
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