Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Sound Strategy and This REIT Could Help Pay for Retirement

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Sound Strategy and This REIT Could Help Pay for Retirement

Article excerpt

A year ago, I wrote that America's middle class was barely keeping its head above water as the economy slowly recovered from the Great Recession. Well, things are not improving.

Just this past week, the Census Bureau reported that the country's median household income edged up just $180 in 2013 to $51,939, a gain deemed statistically insignificant.

While many in the middle class continue to be weighed down by the frustrations of the labor market, no one should be forced to spend their golden years working at subsistence- level positions to survive. Investing, while not a panacea, can help you enjoy a better life now and in retirement.

Investing is not rocket science. A casual understanding of economic trends, a little basic finance knowledge with which to analyze earnings and a dollop of common sense will enable you to establish a basic portfolio with a reasonable return.

Unfortunately, investors are often wedded to the rear-view- mirror concept. It's unfortunate because a company's projected future performance should drive investment decisions. And you need to continually remind yourself that investing is about success over two to three years. To achieve that success, you will need to find corporations with records of accomplishment.

One possible candidate to consider is National Retail Properties (NNN), a real estate investment trust. When I last wrote about National Retail a year ago, my earnings estimate was $1.88 per share with a 12-month forecasted share price of $38 per share. So how did the company do? Earnings for fiscal 2013 came in at $1.91, while the shares recently closed at $35.38, so I was a little light there. But the shares closed at $37.37 as recently as Sept. 5. And National Retail has a market cap of $4.6 billion with shares that are up about 21 percent so far this year.

Within the commercial real estate world, single-tenant, freestanding properties are the jewels and are usually leased for 10 to 20 years. National Retail's holdings are mostly single-tenant, it owns higher-quality real estate than the national average and, with 98 percent of its portfolio committed to long-term leases, it is not significantly affected by short-term economic trends. …

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