REITs and Rising Rates: Pushing Against Conventional Wisdom

April 16, 2015 8:38 PM

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Real-estate investment trusts have been on a tremendous run since the financial crisis. Their returns have surpassed the broader market since early 2009, in part because the relatively big dividends they pay looked increasingly attractive as interest rates fell year after year. Now, though, the economy has gained momentum, and the Federal Reserve looks ready to raise interest rates later this year from their record low.

Conventional wisdom says rising rates will mean pain for real-estate investment trusts, or REITs, which own apartment buildings and shopping malls and pay out at least 90 percent of their profit as dividends. Not only would rising rates push investors to dump REITs and other dividend-paying stocks t...

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