Choosing Between REITs and Real Estate Funds - LBC Capital Income Fund, LLC
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Investing in Real Estate: Choosing Between REITs and Real Estate Funds

reits vs funds

Investing in real estate can be an excellent way to diversify your portfolio and generate stable returns. However, with so many investment options, it can be challenging to choose the best one. REITs and real estate funds are the most effective investing tools that help investors grow their passive income. But what is the difference between them? If you consider investing in real estate but don’t know where to start, let’s begin with the basics! In this article, we will analyze both options more deeply to help you make the right choice.

REITs explained: types and benefits

REITs, or real estate investment trusts, mean companies that own and manage income-generating real estate properties. They operate similarly to mutual funds, where investors can buy shares and earn a portion of the income generated from the properties in which the REIT has invested. REITs typically invest in various properties, including office buildings, hotels, apartment complexes, and shopping centers.

There are three main types of REITs that you should know about:

  • Equity REITs own and operate income-producing real estate. These types of REITs can invest in such properties as apartments, hotels, shopping centers, and office buildings. They generate income through rent payments and property appreciation.
  • Mortgage REITs provide loans to real estate owners and operators. They can lend money directly through mortgages or indirectly by acquiring mortgage-backed securities. Mortgage REITs generate income from the interest paid on these loans.
  • Hybrid REITs mean a combination of both equity and mortgage REITs. Such REITs invest in physical properties and mortgage-backed securities, allowing investors to diversify their portfolios and potentially earn higher returns.

One of the primary advantages of investing in REITs is the potential for high dividend yields. REITs distribute at least 90% of their taxable income to shareholders in the form of dividends. This can be attractive to investors looking for a consistent income from their investments.

Liquidity is another advantage of investing in REITs. Unlike owning physical real estate, investors can buy and sell REIT shares easily, making it a more flexible investment option. Additionally, because REITs are publicly traded, investors can easily access information about the company’s financial performance and management team.

Reas estate funds explained: types and benefits

Real estate funds invest in a portfolio of real estate assets, such as office buildings, hotels, and apartments. Real estate funds are managed by professional fund managers choosing the properties the fund will invest. Like REITs, real estate funds offer investors the opportunity to diversify their real estate holdings without the hassle of owning and managing physical properties.

There are three types of real estate funds: 

  • Real estate exchange-traded funds (ETFs) allow investors to diversify portfolios of real estate corporations and REITs. They trade like stocks on major exchanges, allowing investors to buy and sell shares at market prices throughout the trading day. Real estate ETFs may be attractive for investors looking for liquidity and ease of trading.
  • Real estate mutual funds can be either open- or closed-end and may be actively or passively managed. These funds invest in various real estate securities, such as REITs, and may also invest in physical real estate properties. Unlike ETFs, mutual funds are priced at the end of the trading day and can be bought or sold at the net asset value (NAV).
  • Private real estate investment funds invest directly in real estate properties. These funds are typically available only to accredited high-net-worth investors and may require a minimum investment. Private real estate investment funds offer investors the potential for higher returns but also higher risk and a longer investment horizon.

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The opportunity to invest in various properties with a relatively small investment is one of the essential reasons to consider real estate funds. They typically have lower investment minimums than REITs, making them accessible to a broader range of investors. 

Additionally, real estate funds offer investors the potential for long-term capital appreciation, as the value of the properties in the fund’s portfolio increases over time.

REITs vs. Real Estate Fund: Which Offers the Best Returns

The returns of REITs and real estate funds depend on various factors, including the investment strategy, management team, and economic conditions. 

Both options offer attractive returns, but there are differences in how they generate income for investors.

REITs offer the potential for capital appreciation if the value of the properties in the REIT’s portfolio increases over time.

Real estate funds reinvest the income leading to higher long-term returns. However, they may also provide regular income in dividends depending on the investment strategy.

REITs may be more volatile than real estate funds, as their share prices are subject to fluctuations in the stock market. Real estate funds may also change under market and economic conditions that impact the value of the properties in the fund’s portfolio.

REITs vs. Real Estate Funds – how to choose?

When deciding between REITs and real estate funds, there are several factors to consider. 

Investment goals

Investors should consider their investment goals and risk tolerance. REITs can be more volatile than real estate funds, as their share prices are subject to fluctuations in the stock market. Real estate funds, on the other hand, may be impacted by market and economic conditions.


Investors should also consider the tax implications of each investment option. REITs distribute at least 90% of their taxable income to shareholders, however, these dividends may be subject to higher tax rates than other dividends. Real estate funds may offer tax benefits such as depreciation deductions and long-term capital gains rates.


Investors should consider the fees associated with each investment option. REITs typically charge management fees and other expenses, impacting investors’ returns. Real estate funds may also charge fees, including management and sales charges.


Choosing between REITs and real estate funds ultimately depends on your investment goals and risk tolerance. Both investment options have advantages and disadvantages. So, it is essential to do research and evaluate each investment opportunity. Consider the location, condition, and potential for growth of the properties you are investing in to make an informed decision that will help you achieve your financial goals over the long term.

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