Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS)
Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS) are funds that enable investors to gain exposure to the property sector, in particular the "rental portfolio" sector (as opposed to the development/construction aspects).
REITs assets must be mainly investment property and their income must be mainly rental income. Note that the sector is important in making an investment decision - domestic, commercial, specialist (e.g. pubs) etc are all options, so ensure that the REITs portfolio meets your desired exposure.
REITs distribute their income on a tax free basis but such income is treated as income from UK property in the hands of the recipient.
In our opinion, REITs have their place as an appropriate vehicle for many people, in so far as rental property income should be part of their portfolio, and/or they have income as a key need in regard to their investments. However, careful consideration should be given to the risks associated with such funds before investing.
It is also the case that charities derive useful benefit from REITs, in that the income will be tax exempt for them.
The value of investments can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount you originally invested. Past performance is not a guide to future performance.