What are REITs?

A real estate investment trust (REIT) is a real estate company that offers common shares to the public. In this way, a REIT stock is similar to any other stock that represents ownership in an operating business. But a REIT has two unique features: its primary business is managing groups of income-producing properties and it must distribute most of its profits as dividends. Congress created REITs in 1960 to make investments in large-scale, income-producing real estate accessible to smaller invest...
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