Monday, October 6, 2014

Gateway Post: Equity REIT Common and Preferred Stock Basket Strategy

For investors unfamiliar with publicly traded REITs, this NAREIT publication provides a good introduction. REIT-FAQ.pdf

As noted in that publication, publicly traded REITs are a convenient way for individuals to invest in income producing real estate.

The REIT structure requires the company to distribute at least 90% of its taxable income to their shareholders each year. Double taxation is avoided for that pass through income. The REIT structure as a pass through entity permits a larger dividend distribution than a regular "C" corporation could make after paying taxes on income at the corporate level before making a distribution from income.

However, money is flowing out the door with any pass through entity like a REIT or BDC. Capital is not being retained to grow the business. Instead, capital is being continually raised through debt and stock sales.

I have been investing in REIT stocks for a long time, which does not make me an expert on this sector by any means.

Instead, as with other sectors where I routinely invest, I have simply become comfortable investing in this sector and have formed opinions over the years about the criteria for determining when and what to buy, and when to sell. I will never have that kind of comfort level when investing in technology which requires technical expertise that I do not have and have no desire to acquire.  

My latest foray into REIT common and preferred stocks started in September 2013, soon after those securities were smashed in price. I viewed the price correction to be due primarily to excessive valuations reached after a multi-year up move that was aggravated significantly by a spike in interest rates that started soon after May 1, 2013, when the ten year treasury closed at 1.66% yield. By year end, the ten year yield had risen to 3.02% (12/31/13). Daily Treasury Yield Curve Rates

I noted this article published in January 2013: REITs: A word of caution | Vanguard Blog

The spike in interest rates in 2013 was not due to a rise in inflation or inflation expectations. Both CPI and inflation expectations fell during that rate spike period.

Instead, the rate spike was due to the first salvo in the interest rate normalization process.

The normal rate setting process undertaken by the market, which is governed primarily by inflation expectations and credit quality, was supplanted by the FED's manipulation of rates through its asset buying sprees and the maintenance of ZIRP since late 2008. The FED's balance sheet has grown to over $4.171+ trillion as of 10/1/14, the last data available before the publication of this post. System Open Market Account HoldingsFederal Reserve Bank of New York Other central bank policies are contributing to the abnormally low rates on treasuries.

Just as an example, one of foreign central banks heavily into the manipulation game is the Swiss National Bank's ongoing creation of Swiss Francs and the purchase of Euros for the purpose of suppressing the rise of the CHF against the EUR. SNB Balance Sheet Data August 2014.pdf The newly created money is then invested in sovereign bonds (estimated CHF $471+B) that has been a contributing factor in abnormally low sovereign bond yields prevailing in Europe that makes the treasury yields look good comparatively. Consequently this causes more demand for those securities at a time when the FED is hogging the supply (more than 50% ownership of most outstanding securities maturing in ten years or more).

A normal historical spread for a nominal 10 year treasury to the anticipated annual inflation rate is about 2%. That is not much of a real rate of return, unless the investor is extremely confident that deflation or very low inflation are more likely than a rate closer to the historical norms. Consumer Price Index, 1913- | The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis As shown by that historical data, inflation and periodic episodes of problematic inflation are the norm rather than deflation and/or persistently low inflation numbers (less than 1%). The exception was the period during the Great Depression. Chart 1913 to Date Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers

The ten year treasury's real rate of return before the rate spike occurred last year was in negative territory.

Even now, the current yield of the ten year TIP is fluctuating mostly between .25% to .5%. 10-Year Treasury Inflation-Indexed Security, Constant Maturity

{see also: 5-Year Treasury Inflation-Indexed Security, Constant Maturity; 20-Year Treasury Inflation-Indexed Security, Constant Maturity; 30-Year Treasury Inflation-Indexed Security, Constant Maturity-slightly over a 1% current yield}

To understand how REITs may react to a rise in rates, an investor can not simply compare a prior period, where rates were rising due to inflation and/or the FED's response to inflationary pressures, with a rate rise caused by interest rate normalization which is simply the return to average real rate of returns over inflation expectations. A period when rates are rising due solely to interest rate normalization can have a greater impact on REITs compared to a period where rates are rising due to inflationary pressures. The reason has to do with the ability of the REIT to offset increases in borrowing costs with rent increases.

If CPI inflation remains subdued at less than 2%, and rates rise to normal levels (about 4% to 4.25% for the ten year given current inflation expectations), the REITs will have their borrowing costs potentially rise at a faster rate than their ability to recoup those costs through rent increases tied to CPI. Most commercial mortgages have relatively short terms and REITs are constantly have to refinance loan and debt obligations.

One potential problems is that REIT prices are currently above the average historical P/FFO. The Lazard firm publishes a monthly report, accessible over the internet, that has charts showing historical P/FFO as well as other valuation metrics. When I click my bookmark to that site, I am taken to the most recent report rather than the one originally bookmarked. USRealEstateIndicatorsReport .pdf

As of August 2014, that report shows REITs were selling a 5% premium to their underlying net asset value and at a P/FFO of approximately 17.8 vs. the historical average of 16. That historical average has been rising due to the recent market prices. When I first started to look at this report, the long term average was around 15.5.  

Overall, I would anticipate a high positive correlation between the ten year treasury and REIT prices under current and reasonably anticipated economic conditions. Their yields have fallen with a rebound in prices during 2014 to the publication date of this post.

However, starting in late August 2014 until late September, there was a slight increase in the ten year treasury yield that had a significant negative impact on REIT price. Market price declines were across the board starting in late August. The Vanguard REIT ETF (VNQ) had a total return of -5.78% for the 30 day period ending on 10/3/14.

There are many pundits who have published articles that reach a contrary conclusion, asserting that it is myth that REIT stocks will be hurt by rising rates. Seeking Alpha-Larry Swedroe July 2014;  WSJ Article-Published January 2014 Summarizing a NAREIT ReportLazard Report March 2014-Misperceptions about Rising Rates and REIT Prices .pdfThe Myth of REIT Interest-Rate Risk-By Brad Thomas published at TheStreet.

The kind of analysis performed by those investors and the trade organization for REITs do not take the historical record in context by examining all of the relevant criteria impacting REIT operating performance and share price: (1) the valuations when interest rates start to rise; (2) the underlying causes of the interest rate rise (rate normalization, federal reserve tightening cycle, inflation increases); (3) whether short term and intermediate term rates are both rising or whether short term rates are rising (2004-2006) while intermediate and long term rates remain relatively stable (refinancing costs remain about the same); (4) the size of the rate increases across the maturity spectrum in relation the then current REIT yields and investor inflation expectations during such a period; (5) the timing of refinancing in relation to the size and speed of the rate rise; (6) the relative actual and reasonably anticipated potential GDP growth; (7) whether or not there has been above or below normal construction of new buildings prior to the rise in rates; (8) whether the overall stock market is in a bull or bear cycle; and I could on and on.

In other words, when taking historical parallels, a sophisticated investor can not take one variable in isolation from all other material variables that impact price and performance. Each time period can have material differences that will impact the outcome other than merely comparing rising interest rate periods with one another which is nothing more or less than a crutch for a more difficult and accurate analysis.

In this post, I will be adding from time to time snapshots of my realized gains and losses from the REIT basket, starting only with the purchases made in September 2013 and thereafter, until I abandon this sector basket altogether with a liquidation.

This basket strategy does not include MREITs.

The profits/losses from Canadian REITs will be impacted for tax reporting purposes by the currency conversion rates in existence at the time of purchase and sell. I am buying those securities with CADs and receiving the sale proceeds in CADs. The reportable profit will depend, however, on the conversion values at the time of purchase and disposition. In cases so far, my reportable taxable profit is significantly less than my actual CAD profit.

The Canadian REITs do have currency risks for a U.S. investor. All pay monthly distributions and generally have higher yields based on CAD payments than the U.S. REITs. Given the decline in the CAD since hitting a high back in 2011, the value of the distribution is less since the CAD dividend buys fewer USDs, in effect resulting in a dividend cut after the conversion. For me, this results only in a lower reportable taxable distributions since I am being paid in CADs.

A U.S. investor who buys these securities on the U.S. pink sheet exchange or the Grey Market (a dark market), using USDs, will receive the distribution payment after the conversion from CADs into USDs and the withholding tax.

Since dividends/distributions are an important component of total return in this basket, I will compute the amounts annually. The totals for the Canadian securities will consist of the reportable taxable amounts in USDs which will be lower than what I received in CADs whenever the CAD is worth less than 1 USD.

I will also link periodically my updates here which will include a table of my then current positions:

The first update was published in March 2014 and contains links to posts discussing trades between September 2013 and 3/5/2014. Equity REIT Common and Preferred Stock Table as of 3/5/14 That posts also discusses my rational for the sector shift into REITs, an example of my dynamic and tactical allocation investment process. I later highlighted another reason for this sector rotation as a potential balance for my regional bank basket. REIT and Regional Bank Baskets

Update For Equity REIT Basket Strategy As Of 7/15/16 HT, OHI, WPTIF

Update For Equity REIT Basket Strategy As Of 7/1/16 STAG, ARESF

Update For Equity REIT Basket Strategy As Of 6/24/16  LXP, MPW, CORR, STAG, RNP

Update For Equity REIT Basket Strategy As Of 6/7/16 FREL, GPT

Update For Equity REIT Basket Strategy As Of 6/1/2016 EQC, SNR

Update For Equity REIT Basket Strategy As Of 5/19/16 MPW, CBL, DREUF, NWHUF, ACRVF, AHOTF

Update For Equity REIT Basket Strategy As Of 5/5/16 MPW, NWHUF

Update For Equity REIT Basket Strategy As Of 4/22/16 BDN

Update For Equity REIT Basket Strategy As Of 4/12/16 XHR, GPT

Update For Equity REIT Basket Strategy As Of 4/6/16 LXP, IRM, RNP,  CIO, EPR, XHR

Update For Equity REIT Basket Strategy As Of 3/21/16 GPT, STAG, SRC, VNQ

Update For Equity REIT Basket Strategy As Of 3/7/16 CIO, IRET

Update For The Equity REIT Basket Strategy As Of 2/22/16 IRT BRG

UPDATE For Equity REIT Basket Strategy As Of 2/12/16 MPW, SNR, EQC, RIOCF, STAG

Update For EQUITY REIT Basket Strategy As Of 1/29/16 CBL, IRT

Update For Equity REIT Basket Strategy As Of 1/21/16 STAG, MPW, LXP, O

Update For Equity REIT Basket Strategy As Of 1/11/16 LXP, IRM, IRC

Update For Equity REIT Basket Strategy As Of 12/29/15 IRT, BDN,  RIOCF

Update For Equity REIT Basket Strategy As Of 12/16/15 CMLEF

Update For REIT Basket Strategy As Of 11/24/15 CBL, CIO, MPW

Update For Equity REIT Basket Strategy As Of 11/16/15 SNR, OHI, NPRUF

Update For Equity REIT Basket Strategy As Of 11/5/15 SNR, VNQ, IRET

Update For REIT Basket Strategy As Of 10/28/15 HTA, CBL, STAG, LXP

Update For REIT Basket Strategy As Of 10/19/15 HR, NPRUF

Update For REIT Basket Strategy As Of 10/5/15 SNR, CBL

Update For Equity REIT Basket Strategy As Of 9/25/15 CBL, BMR

Update For REIT Basket Strategy As Of 9/17/15 IRET, RNP, BRG, IRT

Update For REIT Basket Strategy As Of 9/8/15 LXP, HCP, IRC, STAG, MPW, HTA, BMR

Update For REIT Basket Strategy As Of 8/24/15 MPW, STAG, IRC, SNR

Update For REIT Basket Strategy As Of 8/11/15/Interest Rate Cycles And REIT Stock Prices HCP, O, MPW, BDN, HR, DREUF, BRG

Update For Equity REIT Basket Strategy As Of 7/24/15 IRT, BRG, OHI, IRC, DREUF, FREL, VNQ, NWHUF, MPW

Update 1/21/15 STAG, MPW, LXP

Update 12/29/14  IRT, RIOCF, BDN

Update 10/27/14 HTA, CBL, STAG, LXP

10/17/14 Added 200 DRG:CA At C$8.92

 Update 9/29/14

Update 8/25/14

Update 7/28/14

Update 6/30/14

Update 5/26/14

Update 4/28/14

The updates will have links to posts discussing purchases and sells.

Profit snapshots will be divided into common and preferred share classes.

Equity REIT Common Shares:

Trades made after 5/3/15 will not have blog links and will be discussed generally in a periodic update published at my SA Instablog site noted above: 

Net Realized Gain as of 4/26/17: + $15,858.05


2017 APLE 100 Shares +$24.85

2017 GMRE 50 Shares +$82.54

2017 Roth IRA MPW 50 Shares +69.99
2017 Roth IRA 52+ Shares +$66.63
Three Australian REITs: USD Profit About USD$196

2017 GHC.AU and SGP.AU +A$192.36

2017 GPT.AU 500 Shares +A$65.5

2017 Roth IRA 52+ Shares OHI +$66.23

2017 AX.UN-CA 200 Unites +C$96.5 (about $73.34 USD reportable) 

2017 Roth IRA 100 LXP +$271.9

2017 ROTH IRA APLE 50+ SHARES +$24.46


2016 ACRVF 100 Shares $100.76 (CAD Profit C$252)

2016 GMRE 100 Shares +$77.77

2016 GMRE 50 Shares $43.98

2016 Roth IRA LXP 500 Shares +$301.81

2016 Roth IRA 100+ APLE +$81.18

2016 CBL 50 Shares $74.64

2016 RIOCF 100 Shares +$71.74

2016 IRET 100 Shares +$8.93

2016 LXP 100 SHARES +$99.23

2016 BRG 100 Shares +$192.85

2016 HT 50 Shares +$95.47

2016 HT 100 Shares +$53.81

2016 XHR 50 Shares +$90.48

2016 Roth IRA XHR 50 Shares +$58.03

2016 XHR 50 Shares +$45.41

2016 MPW 200 Shares +$272.73

2016 MPW 107+ Shares +$136.74

2016 WIR.U 100 Shares +$80.27

2016 GPT 396+ Shares +$773.09

2016 ROTH IRA CCP 30 SHARES +$162.08

2016 BRG 101+ Shares +$145.12

2016 OHI 101+ Shares +$887.91

2016 SNR 100 Shares +$210.47

2016 ROTH SNR 50 Shares +$103.49

2016 ROTH IRA IRT 50 Shares +$100.99 

2016 Roth IRA BRG 100 Shares +$38.47

2016 Roth IRA CBL 50 Shares +$14.03

2016 OHI 50 Shares +$117.6

2016 Roth IRA 50 Shares OHI +$73.05

2016 BRG 220+ Shares +$245.32

2016 STAG 42 Shares +$271.31

2016 CIO 100 Shares +$207.97
2016 SNR 100 Shares +$23.07

2016 SNR 108+ Shares +$38.79

2016 Roth IRA 50 IRT Shares +$31.2
2016 Roth IRA 50 IRT Shares +$23.07

2016 Roth IRA IRT 200 Shares +$86.28

2016 HCP 52+ Shares -$34.67

2016 HCP 50 Shares -$36.22

2016 IRT 200 Shares +80.46

2016 BRG 100 Shares +$38.59

2016 STAG 54 Shares +$318.54 

2016 Roth IRA 50 RNP $91.03

2016 MPW 52 Shares +$112.02

2016 Roth IRA 100 LXP +$80.19

2016 STAG 50 Shares $48.31

2016 FREL 75 Shares +$144.26

2016 Roth IRA STAG 52 Shares +$31.06

2016 Roth IRA 50 MPW $84.99

2016 MPW 101+ SHARES +$261.97

2016 MPW 100 Shares +$49.68

2016 MPW 100 Shares +$17.36

2016 NPRUF 200 Shares +$173.76

2016 BDN 100 Shares +$55.5

2016  GPT 112+ Roth IRA +$25.09

2016 RNP 50 Shares +$88.48

2016 IRM 50 shares +$398.06

2016 LXP 100 Shares +$90.68

2016 LXP 150 Shares +$133.97

2016 SRC 154+ Shares +$66.92

2016 VNQ 10 Shares +$72.63

2016 STAG 133 Shares +$125.27

2016 GPT 313+ Shares +$133.52

2016 GPT 386 Shares +$52.98

2016 CIO 50 SHARES +$61.04

2016 RIOCF 50 Shares +$12.32

2016 Realty Income (O) 100 Shares +$1,579.5

2016 IRC 204+ Shares +$191.11


2015 IRT 100 Shares +$53.99 

2015 IRET 105 Shares +$94.09

2015 SNR 50 Shares +$41.59

2015 HTA 50 SHARES +$124.1

2015 HR 50 Shares +$103.07

2015 Roth IRA 50 BMR +$139.99

2015 IFGL ETF 55 Shares +$65.36

2015 Regular IRA APTS 100 Shares \ +$187.05
2015 IRT 100 Shares
2015 ARCP 307+ Shares -$935.83
2015 HCP 50 Shares +$213.11
2015 DOC 100 Shares +$237.96
2015 EPR 30 Shares +$162.09
2015 CCG 161 Shares -$311.05
2015 IRT 100 Shares +$36
2015 CORR 140 Shares (highest cost) +$14.87 


2015 Roth IRA BRG 50 Shares +$75.49
2015 BRG  101+ Shares +$77.28

Eliminated BRG at $13.77- South Gent | Seeking Alpha (5/1/15 Instablog)

2015 Sold 100 SRC +$193.98
Sold 100 SRC at $12.78 Roth IRA (1/31/15 Post) 

2015 Roth IRA LXP 54+ Shares +$64.4
Sold 54 LXP at $11.44 Vanguard Roth IRA (1/27/15 Post)-Transitioning Position to Fidelity Roth IRA

2015 Sold 100 CSG Highest Cost Shares +$37.32
Sold 100 CSG at $8.76-Highest Cost Shares


2014 IRC 206+ Shares +$122.33
Sold 206+ IRC at $10.945 (12/11/14 Post)-Item # 3 Added 50 IRC at $9.93  (10/11/14 Post) and Item # 6 Bought 150 IRC at $10.35 (3/3/14 Post)

2014 101 LXP +$51.76

LXP position transferred to Roth IRA for the reasons given in this post: Lexington REIT (LXP) - South Gent | Seeking AlphaAdded 100 LXP At $10.43 - South Gent | Seeking AlphaStocks, Bonds & Politics: Sold 101+ LXP at $10.65

HealthLease +$1,039.16
Artis  +$6.92
SOLD: 300 HLP-UN:CA at C$14.17 and 300 AX-UN:CA at C$15.71 (9/26/14)

MPW +$108.27
Sold 100 MPW at $14-Regular IRA (9/13/14 Post)

DLR +$303.85
EPR +$41.66
Sold 30 DLR at $64.06, 30 EPR at $55.22-Ongoing Stock Allocation Reduction (8/19/14 Post)

Riocan +$48.4

Sold 100 REI_UN.CA at C$27.04 (7/19/14 Post)

Canadian Apartments +$275.8

Sold 200 CAR_UN:CA at C$23.16 (7/12/14 Post)

EXL +$82.98
Sold 50 EXL at $13.68 (6/14/14 Post)

Killam +$38.87
Sold 200 KMP:CA at C$10.45 (5/31/14 Post)

ARCP +$45.07
Sold 100 of 400 ARCP at $13.35 (5/17/14 Post)

DRE +$142.47
Sold 100 DRE at $16.57 (3/3/14 Post)

2013 Roth IRA MPW 100 Shares +$221.08


Equity REIT Preferred Shares:

2017 PSAPRE 50 Shares +$51.04

2017 CBLPRD 50 Shares +$23.98

2017 DLRPRI 50 Shares +$86.23

2017 NNNPRF 50 Shares +$32.9

2017 CIOPRA 50 Shares +$146.97

2017 REXRPRA 50 Shares +$17.97

2017 NNNPRF 30 Shares +$32.75

2016 Roth IRA CORRPRA 50 Shares -$111.53

2016 CBLPRD 50 Shares -$1.53

2016 EQCPRD 50 Shares +$93.97

2016 DLRPRI 100 Shares +$181.55

2016 CBLPRD 50 SHARES +$8.2

2016 Roth IRA EPRPRC +$160.48

2014 Roth IRA 50 DLRPRE +$92.37

CBLPRD +$58.98
Sold: 50 CBLPRD at $26.06 in Roth IRA

FPOPRA +$81.58 

Sold: 50 FPOPRA at $26.2 in Taxable Account

AMPPRA +$26.58
Pared Interest Rate Risk by Selling in a Taxable Account 50 AMHPRA at $25.4 

CORPRA +$101.58
Pared Interest Rate Risk: Sold  50 CORPRA at $26.25 (2/7/15 Post)

EPRPRF +$93.98
Item # 7 Sold ROTH IRA: 50 EPRPRF at $24.65 (6/28/14 Post)

OFCPRL +$92.58
Sold: 50 OFCPRL at $26.21 (5/31/14 Post)

CBLPRE +$39.58
Sold:  50 CBLPRE at $23.81

DREPRL +$43.47
ARCPP +51.04
DLRPRG +$145.96
Sold Roth IRA: 50 DREPRL at $24.93/ Sold 100 ARCPP at $23.43/Sold 100 DLRPRG at $21.5 (5/10/14 Post)

SLGPRI +$29.58
Sold 50 SLGPRI at $23.6 (5/3/14 Post)

AREPRE +$74.08
Sold 50 AREPRE at $24.8-Regular IRA (4/5/14 Post)

NNNPRD +$55.57
Sold: 50 NNNPRD at $24.06 94/1/14 Post)

NNNPRE $57.48
Sold Roth IRA: 50 NNNPRE at $21.14 (3/3/14 Post)

ARCPP +$107.22
 ROTH IRA Sold 50 ARCPP at $23.75 (7/7/14 Post)

BDNPRE +$43.98
Sold 50 BDNPRE at $24.2 (12/17/13 Post)

Total Net Realized Gain REIT Equity Preferred Stocks: $1,927.38

Total Net Realized Gains REIT Equity Preferred and Common Stocks (as of 4/26/17): $15,858.05

Total Dividends/Distributions:

By Year/Running Total
2013 (basket in early stages of being built): $328.34
2014: $3,623.05
2015: $4,364.98
2016: $3,700 (+ or - $100)