The Best Bargain REITs
for 7%+ Yields in 2018
Inside this exclusive report, you’ll discover:
- Which REITs to buy & which to avoid right now,
- An undeniable market indicator that consistently delivers secure payouts of 7%, 8%, or better, and
- My 2 favorite recession-proof REITs paying 7.5%+ Yields, with 25% upside ahead!
There hasn’t been a better time to buy real estate investment trusts (REITs) since July 2009. That was the last time this “simple signal” flashed B-U-Y.
Investors who bought on this signal then have enjoyed 251% returns (including dividends) since. And those gains didn’t require any fancy stock picking – just a one-click purchase of the Vanguard REIT ETF (VNQ).
The signal? VNQ itself paying over 4.3%:
Highest REIT Yields Since the Financial Crisis
But not all REITs are equally successful landlords. That’s especially true today, with entire business models becoming obsolete before our very eyes (such as retail).
We need to avoid VNQ’s landmines in favor of recession-proof REITs. And my favorite names actually pay 7% to 8% or better today, with price upside to boot – we’ll discuss these firms in a minute.
Most income hounds get it wrong. They pile into REITs when their yields are low because they are desperate for any positive income stream. That’s a bad idea because there are only two ways REITs can pay you:
- With today’s dividend, and
- With tomorrow’s (hopefully higher) payout.
As with stocks in general, it’s usually a bad move to accept a lower-than-usual dividend today in hopes of future growth. That’s a sure way to guarantee underperformance.
A better strategy is buying stocks – especially REITs – when their yields are higher than usual. Over VNQ’s 11-year history, its price has tended to mirror its yield:
Buy VNQ When Yield is High
But Isn’t This Time Different?
“First-level” investors – those who buy and sell on headlines – mistakenly believe that real estate investment trust (REIT) profits will suffer if rates rise.
Sure, in the short run, the “rates up, REITs down” theory puts on quite the show. When the 10-Year Treasury’s yield rises, REITs usually fall. And when its yield drops, REITs usually rally. This inverse relationship tends to hold up over multiple days, weeks and even months:
A Short-Run Seesaw Between REITs and T-Bill Yields
The theory backing up this price action says that, because REITs borrow money to grow their property empires, they need cheap cash. Yet this isn’t a “must have” criterion for all such landlords. If their costs increase, they can simply raise the rents when the lease is up for renewal, passing on their higher borrowing costs to tenants.
For example, let’s look at a three-year period starting in May 2003 when the 10-year rate climbed two full basis points – from 3.2% to 5.2%. Based on recent REIT price action, you’d expect most firms would be out of business!
But blue chips such as mall operator Simon Property Group (SPG) and self-storage stalwart Public Storage (PSA) not only survived the rate increases – they thrived:
The Best REITs Climbed With Rates
Why? Because rising rates signaled a booming economy – one in which these firms had no problem raising their rents. Both boosted dividends while investors in each stock enjoyed 129% total returns over the three-year period!
Which REITs Will Thrive
In This Rate Hike Cycle?
Firms having no problem issuing rent increases today are easy to spot. They report higher and higher funds from operations (FFO) year after year, which finds its way back to shareholders in the form of an ever-rising dividend.
But you can’t buy just any REIT – or any index or fund. Take VNQ – it has a huge landmine in its portfolio. See if you can spot it:
Why You Shouldn’t Buy VNQ Itself
The biggest problem is in the second line from the bottom: 18.9% of VNQ’s holdings are retail REITs—its largest allocation, and the worst REITs you could own right now.
That 18.9% is sitting right in the path of Amazon.com (AMZN), which is eating big retailers like Macy’s (M), L Brands (LB) and Guess (GES) alive! If these chains are in permanent trouble (which they are), that’s a big problem for their landlords.
Let’s review the rest of the retail landscape from the landlord’s standpoint. And while we’re at it, let’s spin around the REIT world to look at disruption elsewhere. On the whole, REITs are indeed as cheap as they’ve been since 2009. In some cases, it’s for good reason – in others, it’s an opportunity to go shopping.
Stay Away: Retail REITs
As an investment, I don’t like retail REITs. At all.
2017 was one of the worst years ever for retail store closures, easily smashing 2008’s record of 6,163 store closings. Here are some of last year’s members who joined the dubious triple-digit (100+) closure club:
- Teavana (379 closed stores)
- J.C. Penney (138)
- Gymboree (350)
- Ascena (268)
- Michael Kors (100)
- Payless (512)
- Bebe (180)
- Rue21 (400)
- RadioShack (1000)
As these tenants turn out the lights for the last time, do you envy any of their landlords?
Beyond a short-term trade, I’m not sure any retail REITs – no matter how cheap – truly belong in a “no withdrawal” retirement portfolio (where you live off dividend alone and never sell any stock to to fund your personal income needs).
After all, the entire point of living off dividends is to take the stress out of stock market investing. And these firms will be scrambling as long as the internet continues to eat their tenants alive.
With delivery services just beginning to take off, I’m not even sure supermarkets are safe. There are countless Uber and Lyft drivers cruising this country looking for someone, or something, to drive from here to there.
Buy Smartly: Lodging REITs
Hotel landlords have nice business models. They own the facility, but let someone do the heavy lifting of actually running it.
Lodging REITs are quite cheap today, for two reasons:
- Lodging is historically cyclical (which means it suffers during recessions), and
- Some first-level investors fear competition for hotels from home rental services like Airbnb.
Macroeconomics aside, the reason you shouldn’t fear the first concern is that lodging REITs are already priced for a recession. Many trade for less than 10-times FFO (funds from operations) – which is like a stock trading for less than 10-times earnings or cash flows. Cheap.
The Airbnb-threat can be avoided with careful stock picking. For example, my favorite lodging REIT has hotels out in the suburbs or near airports. These locations are well insulated from the Airbnbs of the world, which are more popular near city centers and resort areas.
There isn’t much competition from vacation rentals for a Residence Inn next to a business park, and business travelers want convenience and a dependable brand. Yet investors incorrectly perceive a competitive threat, putting all stocks in the sector on sale. There’s value (and high, secure income) in lodging if you choose carefully.
Stay Away: Self-Storage REITs
For two decades, self-storage was the place to be for big, steady gains. These stocks delivered 18% annual gains with the least amount of volatility (or price gyrations) in the REIT world:
Self-Storage Was the Place to Be for 20 Years
But today, competition has matured to the point where some self-storage markets are starting to become saturated. This means we must look beyond the blue chips of the space like Public Storage (PSA) and Extra Space Storage (EXR), because these guys are so big they must own space in every market – saturated or not.
Buy Smartly: Commercial Mortgage REITs
Traditional mortgage REITs (mREITs) are supposed to provide investors with steady streams of income. Problem is, they tend to drop their dividends over time – and these cuts accelerate when rates rise. Profits plummet because their portfolios (typically made up of fixed-rate issues) decline in value as rates run higher.
For example, despite the stock market’s reputation as a “forward-looking vehicle,” Mr. Market didn’t price anything into Annaly Caital (NLY) shares until it actually cut its dividend by 20% during the last rising rate period (June 2005). Share prices plummeted until the dividend actually bottomed at $0.10 per share (down from $0.50 a year earlier) in December 2005.
Mr. Market Didn’t Look Ahead With Annaly
Let’s consider a vastly superior brand of mREIT instead.
Most mREITs simply shuffle residential mortgages around. That’s a competitive business without much differentiation, or pricing power.
Commercial loans, on the other hand, are more complex. A lender with a bit of subject matter expertise can really set itself apart from the pretenders.
And the need for commercial financing is booming. Loans are up ten-fold in the last eight years. But banks, ironically, are leaving the business!
Recent regulations like the international Basel III rule, agreed upon in 2010, more than doubled the capital requirements for banks (from 2% to 4.5% of common equity). It means they need more cash on hand for every dollar they lend out. Good for reducing bank runs, but bad for borrowing – and bank profits.
Meanwhile the Volcker Rule will soon limit the types of commercial lending that these firms can engage in. Most banks don’t want to deal with the headaches, so they’ve already stepped away from the commercial market.
As they flee, boutiques step in to write mortgages for commercial properties.
These select “commercial mREITs” feature floating rate portfolios – which means they actually make even more money as interest rates rise! (Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Fed now?)
Buy Smartly: Industrial REITs
In the industrial REIT space, fundamentals vary greatly by, well, industry. I’m most bullish on distribution centers and warehouses thanks to the boom in internet shopping and e-commerce.
In fact, while the Great Recession flattened many business models, warehouse demand has enjoyed a non-stop boom since 2000 thanks to online shopping:
E-Commerce Sales Booming in America
Think about it – more packages are being delivered to your house today than ever before. Each package starts in a warehouse somewhere.
Now that we’ve identified our most promising properties:
- Healthcare facilities,
- Hotels catering to business travelers, and
- Warehouses filled with Amazon.com packages.
It’s time for us to find the best bargains in the sector. And we’re going to focus solely on 7% to 8% yields and higher, because these are meaningful dividends that we can actually use to fund our retirement income needs (without ever having to sell any shares).
You’ll find that, when we buy right, we can actually enjoy 25% to 100%+ price upside on the shares that we hold to boot.
How to Find Bargain REITs with
7%+ Yields for 2018
Now let’s talk about how to value REITs. Let’s start with FFO, because it’s what drives REIT returns.
Funds from operations (FFO) represents the amount of cash a REIT actually generates from its operations. It’s where our dividend originates – which makes it the building block for everything else in the REIT world.
To calculate FFO, we start with net income. Then we add back depreciation and amortization (which are accounting expenses) and subtract profits from property sales (which are one-time events).
FFO Drives Dividend Growth
FFO is the driver of dividend growth for REITs. Figure out where FFO is going, and you know where the payouts are heading – and how fast.
If FFO is stagnant, a firm can only increase its payout by increasing its payout ratio. And this isn’t sustainable over time.
Rising FFO on a per share basis, on the other hand, will basically force management to raise its dividend. And that’s what ultimately drives the stock price higher, because dividend growth is all that matters for REITs. Figure out where the dividend is going, and you know where the stock price is heading.
Reason Being, Yields are
Consistent Over Time
REIT yields tend to be quite steady over time. For example, blue chip self-storage name Public Storage (PSA) usually pays somewhere between 2.5% and 3.5% (absent a financial crisis):
PSA Pays the Same, More or Less
But be careful – just because the current yield goes nowhere doesn’t mean the stock price goes nowhere. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Over the last ten years, PSA has increased its dividend by an impressive 264%. Its stock has followed suit, delivering 323% total returns to shareholders!
PSA’s Dividend Drives its Stock Higher
Former dividend grower HCP (HCP), on the other hand, shows that over the long haul the stock price is attracted to the payout curve like a magnet. Its share price (blue line below) might run higher for awhile, but they always found their way back to their dividend (orange line) – for better or for worse.
In 2016, the “worse” scenario happened – HCP chopped its payout by 36% and its share price dove:
Dividend Down, Stock Down
Meanwhile industrial landlord Prologis (PLD) pays about the same dividend it did a decade ago. Its share price has also tracked its dividend – perfectly sideways:
Dividend Sideways, Stock Sideways
REITs can be excellent yield vehicles. But why not buy them for growth too? It is possible to have your dividend and enjoy price upside to boot – and it all starts with rising FFO.
My two favorite REITs today are comfortably positioned in recession-proof industries. They’ll have no problem continuing to raise their rents – and reward their shareholders – no matter what the Fed decides at its next meeting, what Trump tweets or when the stock market finally takes a breather.
2 Recession-Proof Dividend Growth REITs:
7.5%+ Yields and 25% Upside
My favorite commercial real estate lender lets us play Monopoly from the convenience of our brokerage accounts. They do all the legwork, building a secure, diversified loan portfolio featuring offices, retail space, hotels and multifamily units.
Management then collects the monthly payments, deposits the checks – and then it sends most of the profits our way as dividends (a requirement of its REIT status).
The stock’s current dividend (a 7.7% yield today) is covered by earnings-per-share (EPS) today. And don’t be fooled by the stagnant dividend (not that stability is bad). The firm continues to originate an increasing number of loans:
37% Loan Growth Today Tees Up Dividend Growth Tomorrow
This firm is a conservative lender with perfect loan performance (100%). Its growing portfolio will drive higher profits, which in turn will inspire the next dividend hike. The best time to buy the stock is right now, as it makes the investments which will drive its payout and share price higher from here.
Plus this firm has also smartly eliminated interest rate risk because it uses floating rates. In fact, it’s actually set up to make more money as interest rates move higher:
More Income as Interest Rates Rise
Same for another REIT favorite of mine, a 7.5% payer backed by an unstoppable demographic trend that will deliver growing dividends for the next 30 years. Interest rates are no problem for this landlord because it will simply continue raising the rents on its “must have” facilities.
Its founder Ed Aldag admitted that, fourteen years ago, he had “zero assets, a dream, and a business plan.”
Well his dream and plan were plenty – Ed parlayed them into $7+ billion in assets!
And right now is the best time yet to “bet on Ed” because his growing base of assets is generating higher and higher cash flows, powering an accelerating dividend:
I love dividend increases because they are proof that management is actually making more money, so can afford to pay us shareholders more. And an accelerating payout is a flat out cry for help!
Any management team that raises its dividend faster and faster is clearly making more money than it knows what to do with. This usually happens when it achieves a tipping point where its machine no longer requires as much reinvestment to continue growing. So leadership says: “Please, take a bigger raise, shareholders.”
Meanwhile investors and money managers who spot dividend accelerators lose their minds because, in theory, there is no valuation too high for a company that is increasing its dividend at an accelerating rate. Their spreadsheets literally break, and they buy the stock in a frenzy.
Ed’s stock should be owned by any serious dividend investor for three simple reasons:
- It’s recession-proof
- It yields a fat (and secure) 7.5%.
- Its dividend increases are actually accelerating.
These two REITs are both “best buys” in my 8% No Withdrawal Portfolio – an 8% dividend paying portfolio that lets retirees live on secure payouts alone. And they can even enjoy price upside to boot, thanks to the bargain prices they’re buying at.
Now, as active recommendations for my premium subscribers, it wouldn’t be fair to reveal their names here.
But I would like to send you a free copy of my latest special report, Recession Proof REITs: 2 Plays With 7.5%+ Yields and 25% Upside, with all the details.
It includes the names, tickers and exact buy advice on how to start profiting right now.
In short, it’s everything you need to know before you invest a single penny, and it’s yours at no cost whatsoever.
But that’s only the beginning, because I want you to discover how easy it is to…
Live Off 8% Dividends Without Ever
Drawing Down Your Capital!
Why would you ever sell a stock for income?
Why not free yourself from “ticker watching” and short-term stock market movements?
Instead of ever selling your stocks, you should make sure you live on dividends alone so that you never have to touch your capital.
This is easier said than done, and obviously the more money you have the better off you are. But with rates and yields so low, even rich guys have a tough time living off of interest today.
You can actually live better than they can off of a (much) more modest nest egg if you know where to look for lesser-known, meaningful and secure yield. I’m talking about annual income of 6%, 7% or even 8% or more – so that you’re banking up to $40,000 each year for every $500,000 you invest.
And because you’ll never have to touch your nest egg, you’ll never have to worry about stock prices.
The only thing you need to concern yourself with is the security of your dividends.
As long as your payouts are safe, who cares if your stock prices swing up or down on a given day?
Most investors know this is the right approach to retirement. Problem is, they don’t know how to find 7% and 8% yields to fund their lives.
I know how to find safe payouts like these, with price upside to boot. And I’ll teach you:
- How to determine if dividends are safe,
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In addition to your complimentary report on my two favorite REITs, I’d like to give you full access to my entire “No Withdrawal” portfolio through a risk-free trial of my Contrarian Income Report research service.
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Bonus Report #3
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Safe Yields Are Only the Beginning
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As I said from the beginning, this is the best opportunity since 2009 to buy REITs at a discount and live off their dividends. But it’s important to choose wisely. Retail REITs are dangerous, while other recession-proof issues are bargains.
I’d love to share my favorite 7-8%+ payers with you – including specific stock names, tickers and buy prices – along with all of the other recommendations in our 8% No Withdrawal Portfolio.
Are you ready to get started?
Yours in profits,
Chief Investment Strategist
The Contrarian Income Report
P.S. Since my recommendations are contrary to prevailing popular beliefs, they have a habit of rallying quickly as soon as the mainstream herd catches on to what they’ve been missing. I encourage you to get started right now so that you can get in at a good price!
Remember, your risk-free membership comes with the names and full details on my top 2 REITs for 7.7% and 7.5%, 3 closed-end funds paying up to 8.9% and a Preferred fund that will hand you an easy 7%. Even a small position in any one of these picks will easily cover a full year’s membership… most likely before your 60 day trial even ends!
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