Sinking money into real estate investment trusts is considered to be one of Wall Street’s most complex investments.
Owning shares of REITs gives investors an opportunity to get investment exposure to real estate, including apartments, shopping centers and office buildings. But they’ve gained a reputation of being risky and confusing — especially after the industry was pummeled during the last real estate crash.
Even Lloyd McAdams, chief executive of Anworth Mortgage Asset Corp., makes no bones about saying his Santa Monica REIT does carry some risk. But it also has given shareholders high dividend yields as the real estate market has recovered.
“The potential magnitude of the risks we have to manage around has been the most daunting aspect of managing the business,” said McAdams, who has been CEO since the company was founded in 1998.
Anworth’s stock price has had big gyrations because of the company’s ties to the housing market. The stock at one point traded above $15 before the housing crisis walloped the industry. It now trades for about $5 a share.
But analysts are bullish on the company’s prospects and hail its consistent dividend. The company has averaged about a 10% payout every year for the last decade. That compares to the 2.65% average weighted dividend yield for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.