Dividends4Life: SEC Threat Takes Allure Away From REIT

SEC Threat Takes Allure Away From REIT

Posted by D4L | Wednesday, September 21, 2011 | | 0 comments »

Real Estate Invest Trusts (REITs) have some of the highest yields on Wall Street. To be classified as a REIT, a company must distribute at least 90 percent of its taxable income to shareholders annually in the form of dividends. Earlier this month mortgage REITs took a sizeable hit after the Securities and Exchange Commission launched a review that could subject these companies to tighter regulation.

The SEC announced that it will solicit public comment to determine if mortgage real estate investment trusts should be regulated as investment companies and therefore subject to the Investment Act of 1940. The SEC noted the Investment Act didn't foresee the explosive growth of mortgage securities or the flood of other mortgage investors that have entered the industry. According to The Wall Street Journal a big concern for mortgage REITs is they will lose their ability to employ high levels of leverage if they are subject to the Investment Act. Mortgage REITs have high dividend yields partly because the managers use high leverage, which can boost returns.

Source: Market Watch

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