Elimination of 30-yr Treasury Bond Increases Need for Fixed-Income Alternatives
-- CNBC's Street Signs recently welcomed Leo Wells, president of Wells Real Estate Funds, to the program to share his "street smarts" on the real estate market after dramatic moves by the Federal Reserve and Treasury Departments to prop up the economy.
According to Wells, the Federal Reserve's tenth consecutive interest rate cut and the Treasury Department's decision to eliminate the 30-year treasury bond has driven bond yields down even further, leaving fixed-income investors strapped for cash.
However, real estate, in the form of REITs and REIT mutual funds, is poised to take up the slack, offering investors consistent and relatively higher dividend yields. In fact, REITs, which own and manage real estate and whose dividends are derived from rent revenues of REIT-owned properties, were yielding an average of 7.75% (based on the NAREIT Composite Index), through Nov. 8, while yields on the 10-year T-bond and 3-Month T-Bill had fallen below the 5% mark and the S&P 500 Index yield hovered at 1.25%.
Consequently, Wells sees REITs as the best vehicle for retirees to meet both their current income needs and their income needs over the long-term and says the current high yield on REITs is right in line with their historical yield (past performance does not guarantee future results).
Wells is also fast to point out that REITs are more than just a quick fix for investors who have recently been hurt in the market. In fact, REITs should be an integral part of an investor's overall portfolio diversification strategy as studies indicate that an allocation to REITs can reduce portfolio volatility and boost overall returns over the long-term.
"I think [REITs] should have been a part of everyone's portfolio for a long time. A lot of people would not be suffering the income drought that they are right now," he said.