Pinto Capital Investments

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What are REITs?

REITs are companies that own or finance income-producing real estate in a variety of sectors such as commercial office buildings, retail stores and apartments. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are an increasingly popular option among investors who want to diversify their portfolios and earn passive income.

Compared to traditional real estate investing, which typically requires a significant capital investment as well as time commitment for the management of properties, REITs provide investors with the benefit of buying shares in the company and profiting from its profits without needing to manage any of the properties themselves.

To qualify as an REIT, meeting requirements such as investing 75% of total assets in real estate, generating 75% of income from real estate activities, distributing 90% of taxable income as dividends yearly, and having over 100 shareholders after a year is necessary. REITs offer passive income with no property management. 

Before investing in REITs, it is essential to analyze significant factors such as historical performance, portfolio diversification, dividend yield, debt-to-equity ratio, associated fees, and any potential conflicts of interest with fund managers or related parties.

Different Types of REITs?

When it comes to Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), there are three primary categories: Equity REITs, Mortgage REITs, and Hybrid REITs.

  1. Equity Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) generate revenue by owning and operating properties, primarily through rent payments from tenants.They can also generate money from the sale of real estate assets, but this is not their primary source of income. Equity REITs typically invest in commercial properties such as office buildings, shopping centers, industrial parks, apartments, and hotels.
  2. Mortgage REITs provide financing for real estate by purchasing or originating mortgages and mortgage-backed securities (MBS). They generate income by collecting interest payments on these investments. Mortgage REITs tend to focus on residential properties such as single-family homes and multi-family dwellings.
  3. Hybrid REITs combine both equity and mortgage investments to provide investors with exposure to both types of investments at once. These funds hold a blend of property assets such as office buildings and apartment complexes as well as mortgage loans secured by these same properties.

The main difference between the three types of REITS is the way they generate income – Equity REITS generate income through rent payments from tenants; Mortgage REITS generate income through interest payments on mortgages; Hybrid REITS generate income through a combination of rent payments from tenants and interest payments on mortgages. All three types of REITS offer investors the potential for high returns with relatively low risk compared to other investments in the stock market.

Why You Should Consider Investing in a REIT

REITs offer investors several advantages, including high dividends, professional management, diversification benefits, liquidity, low barrier to entry, return potential and no corporate tax.

High Dividends

High dividends are one of the primary benefits of investing in REITs. REITs are required by law to distribute at least 90% of their taxable income as dividends to shareholders each year. This makes them an attractive option for investors looking for a steady stream of income from their investments.

Professional Management

REITs also provide investors with professional management of their investments. REIT managers are experienced professionals who have expertise in the real estate market and can help ensure that your investments are managed properly and efficiently.

Diversification Benefits

Another advantage of investing in REITs is diversification benefits. By investing in multiple types of real estate assets, you can spread out your risk and reduce the volatility of your portfolio over time. This helps protect you from large losses should one particular asset class suffer a downturn in value.


In addition, REITs offer investors liquidity because they are traded on public exchanges like stocks and bonds. This means that you can easily buy or sell shares without having to wait for a buyer or seller to come along as you would with traditional real estate investments such as rental properties or vacation homes.

Low Barrier to Entry

There is a low barrier to entry when it comes to investing in REITs since they trade on public exchanges like stocks and bonds and require relatively small amounts of capital compared to other types of real estate investments such as rental properties or vacation homes.

Downside of Investing in a REIT

Investing in REITs has potential to provide diversification and income for your portfolio, however there are some possible drawbacks worth taking into consideration.

Lack of Control Over Properties

The investor has no direct control over the real estate assets owned by the trust. All decisions pertaining to buying and selling of these assets are left up to the REIT’s management team.

Dependence on the Real Estate Market

The performance of REITs can be subject to fluctuations in the real estate market as a whole. If the market takes a downturn, investors may experience losses from their investment in a REIT.

Higher Fees and Expenses

Investing in a REIT often requires higher fees or expenses than with other types of investments such as stocks or bonds, resulting in potentially lower returns on investments compared to those of other asset classes.

Risk of Tenant Defaults

Because rental income is a major component of REIT profits, an increased risk of tenant defaults can lead to losses for investors if not managed appropriately by the management team.

No Tax Benefits 

REITs lack tax benefits compared to real estate syndications and vacation properties, which offer tax deductions for expenses such as depreciation, property taxes, and mortgage interest, reducing investor tax liability. REITs are subject to corporate taxes, and as such, investors are not able to take advantage of the same tax deductions as they would with direct real estate investments.

How to Research and Evaluate a REIT Investment

Reviewing Financial Statements

Financial statements give investors an insight into the financial health of a REIT, including income, expenses, assets, liabilities and cash flow. By studying the financial performance of a REIT, investors can identify areas requiring improvement or discover positive signs that indicate potential growth.

Analyzing Occupancy and Rent Trends

This type of analysis helps investors understand how well the REIT is doing with leasing out its properties. It gives an indication if there is potential for income from future tenants or if other risks exist such as zoning issues or environmental concerns. Knowing this information will help an investor make more informed decisions about investing in that particular REIT.

Examining Management and Governance

The team running the company’s operations is extremely important when it comes to making informed decisions about investing in a REIT. Investigating the experience and track record of managers provides investors with invaluable insight into how well a company is being managed financially over time which can significantly influence investment returns.

Understanding REITs and Taxes

It is essential to understand how REIT dividends and capital gains are taxed in order to maximize returns and minimize taxes owed.

  • Taxation of REIT Dividends

Dividends from a REIT are typically taxed as ordinary income up to 37%, plus a separate 3.8% surtax on net investment income for certain taxpayers. Therefore, investors should consider their personal tax bracket when investing in REITs in order to determine what percentage of their dividends will be taxed.

  • Capital Gains Tax Implications

When selling an REIT for more than its purchase price, investors may owe capital gains taxes on the difference between the sale and purchase prices. Long-term capital gains rates are generally lower than ordinary income tax rates, so holding onto investments for longer periods of time can help reduce overall taxes paid.

  • Tax-loss Harvesting Opportunities

Tax-loss harvesting is an effective strategy to reduce an investor’s overall tax bill by offsetting taxable gains with losses generated from other investments or sources of income. By taking advantage of such opportunities and being mindful of one’s own tax bracket when considering investing in REITs, investors can ensure they make informed decisions about their investments while reaping all the benefits that come with owning a Real Estate Investment Trust.

REITs and Diversification in a Portfolio

How REITs Can Add Diversification to a Portfolio

REITs provide investors with the opportunity to diversify their portfolios, as they are independent from stocks and bonds. The performance of REITs is generally not correlated to other asset classes, meaning that adding REITs to one’s portfolio can help reduce overall risk. As such, diversifying with REITs may provide greater returns than investing solely in stocks or bonds.

How to Properly Allocate REITs in a Portfolio

When considering how much of one’s portfolio should be allocated towards investing in REITs, it is important to consider both the potential returns and risks associated with them. Generally speaking, most financial advisers recommend that investors allocate between 5-15% of their portfolios towards investing in REITs depending on their individual risk tolerance and financial goals.

The Role of REITs in a Risk-adjusted Portfolio

Due to their low correlation with the stock market and potential for higher yields, incorporating REIT investments into a portfolio can be an effective way for investors to manage risk while still generating high returns from their investments. Additionally, since REIT prices tend to move at different speeds compared to stock prices during economic downturns, holding onto these investments over time can potentially result in greater after-tax returns due to lower long-term capital gains tax rates.


REITs are a popular investment option for those seeking to diversify their portfolios and earn passive income through investing in real estate. The three primary categories of REITs – Equity, Mortgage, and Hybrid – each generate income differently, providing investors with a range of options. 

While there are several benefits to investing in REITs, there are also potential drawbacks to consider. Proper research and analysis of factors such as financial statements, occupancy and rent trends, management and governance, and tax implications are critical in making informed investment decisions. In general, REITs can offer a valuable addition to a diversified portfolio, but investors should approach them with careful consideration and an understanding of the associated risks.

Anthony Pinto
Anthony Pinto
Anthony Pinto is the founder and CEO of Pinto Capital Investments (PCI), a real estate investment firm focused on acquiring affordable and workforce multifamily properties and apartment buildings through syndications. Since 2019, PCI has gone full cycle on 2 large apartment complexes (+100 units) with an IRR in excess of 85%.