Brexit Strengthens the Case for Real Estate Investment Trusts

After the Fed raised interest rates in December, investors fearing more interest rate hikes started to sell REITs. However, since then, the Fed has kept interest rates steady — still close to zero. After the Brexit vote, virtually everyone expects Europe’s economy to weaken. Sam Miklosko says this makes it difficult for the Fed to raise interest rates and strengthens the case for holding onto REITs.

Sam started his REIT Opportunity fund at Marketocracy in April, 2009. His returns have averaged 20.90% since then, which compares nicely to the S&P 500’s 15.71% return over the same period. His returns would rank in the top quartile of all U.S. Equity fund managers for the past 5 and 1 year periods. Before taking anyone’s investment advice, you should always check out their track record. Here is Sam’s. Ken Kam: The stock market is at an all time high; what is your take on market sentiment right now?

Sam Miklosko: Until recently I have been bullish on the market. Yet, I think the concerns earlier this year on market risk and uncertainty are just as true today. Not only do we have to worry about rising interest rates we have a whole host of other concerns as well. Brexit; the unraveling of Europe, Japan and China suggests a need for caution.

Considering the state of global monetary policy, finding the catalyst for growth becomes difficult. And the Fed warns forward price-to-earnings for equities have increased well above the median. Right now value is harder to come by and in my search fewer and fewer stocks meet my criteria.

Kam: Sounds like doom and gloom. Is there room for optimism your analysis?

Miklosko: There sure is. First, I don’t think we will see a large precipitous drop in the market anytime soon. I think it is safe to say that if there is a pull back it we should only see a modest decline around 10%. Second, I recently brought up a few charts, SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) and Vanguard’s REIT ETF (VNQ). In looking at the technical analysis of these two issues we could make the case for an extended bull market.

To paraphrase, Warren Buffett says, “Opportunities come don’t come around often. When it rains gold, put out the bucket, not the thimble.” I think we need to be invested, but If the market deteriorates those holding quality income producing assets will be ok.

Kam: So what are investors to do?

Miklosko: I just read a Q&A between you and Bruce Pile; Safe Havens Outperforming Stocks. I suggest readers start there.

I would like to add that in my opinion America and the dollar are still a safe haven for global investment. As I’ve mentioned before in our previous discussion I see little to no risk of rising interest rates. The dollar is gaining strength and as such this is the silver lining for the time being.

Kam: Are you saying a strong dollar will carry the economy?

Miklosko: This is not great for exports but definitely a plus for imports. And where I see this being particularly helpful is in domestic real estate. The international wealthy elite should continue to invest in American assets. This would act as hedge against their local currencies.

With that I maintain REITs are the asset of choice for the foreseeable future. My Take: When I graduated from college, money market funds were paying 11%. Today’s money market funds, however, are paying about 0.05%. Investing $1 million in a money market fund today generates only $500 in interest per year instead of $110,000 when I graduated from college.

A lot of people who used to live off the interest they earned in savings accounts and money market funds have invested in REITs paying 6% to 7% instead. The problem is that many people think REITs will lose value when interest rates rise.

In Real Estate Investment Trusts Are The New Savings Accounts, Sam made the case that some REITs might actually do well if interest rates rise. While I think he made a strong case, most REIT investors would prefer that the Fed keep interest rates where they are.

Sam is right that the Brexit vote has made it less likely that the Fed will raise rates the rest of this year. REIT investors should be more comfortable about enjoying their high-yields for the time being.

Source: realestate_iq

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