I began writing my first blog, REIT Wrecks, early in 2008. The blog is a creature of the credit crisis, and it chronicles (in a rather meandering way) the meltdown in publicly-traded REITs and commercial real estate. On a few occasions, I wrote very generally about non-traded REITs. I thought it was an obscure topic, but much to my surprise those few posts became enduringly popular. Eventually I realized why: the non-traded and unlisted REIT market may be approaching $100 billion in size, yet there is very little information available and almost no independent analysts cover the space.
Just like their publicly traded cousins, a lot of non-traded REIT programs are losing money and slashing dividends. However, unlike public REITs, there are no quarterly conference calls with management, no easy way for non-traded REIT investors to sell their shares, no independent source of share prices or valuation data, and not much trust even from regulators. In fact, FINRA is conducting broker/dealer "sweeps" to address potential deceptive sales practices.
Now, hundreds of thousands of investors are stuck with illiquid investments and no income, while other investors smell a chance to make some money off their misery and lack of knowledge. Even registered reps have few places to go for objective commentary and analysis. Shareholders in particular have had almost no means of comparing opinions and news with their peers - other non-traded REIT investors. And there are some new products in registration that could completely turn the market on its head.
This is why I created the Non-Traded REIT Forum. My bias is simple: increased transparency and more information for investors. Reader comments and questions are often the most informative parts of the posts on REIT Wrecks, and as I wrote earlier in response to some of those very comments, "equipped with the facts, investors can always make the choice that's best for them". Given the dearth of information on non-traded REITs, I am hoping this format will become even more useful in that respect. More importantly, some may consider what I write to be controversial, and this format provides those people with a better platform to respond.
To post your own topic or to reply to an existing topic, just click the "Register" link in the menu bar on the upper right. If you have questions, check the "FAQ" link, also on the upper right. In addition to creating new topics and threads, registered users can also upload attachments, including charts and graphs, and easily add links using the forum's built in "BBcode". There is a guide on how to use BBcode in the posting section.
There is only one rule: Be respectful. I will not censor any posts, but I will ban any user who posts hateful, harmful or hurtful material.
The forum is moderated by one guy - me. I am not a broker or lawyer. I have nothing to sell and no ax to grind. I have never worked for a non-traded REIT sponsor, I have never sold non-traded REIT shares, and I have never been burned by a bad non-traded REIT investment. I am just a guy who knows how to run a website and read financial statements. After having toiled for more than 20 years in structured finance at a number of leading financial institutions, the last several as a senior transactor, I also happen to know a little bit about REITs, commercial real estate, securities brokers and investment banking.
I hope this forum is useful, and I look forward to watching it grow. To email me, please click on the "About" tab on the top left of the page.