We all know the saying “as safe as houses” but I wonder how many consider how sensible this phrase is. Anyway, you may have read in the press that property funds, I think pretty much all of them are currently closed or suspended.
You do not need to panic. We do not invest our clients into property funds. One of the many lessons that I have learned over the years is not to hold anything that is not liquid. Whilst a property fund does not hold houses, it holds large scale commercial property. This is anything from a shopping centre to office blocks or even industrial sites. The main advantage is the rent that tenants pay to the owners, which is often rather predictable and long-lasting.
NOT EASY TO SELL A SHOPPING CENTRE
I’ve never been keen on property funds for the reason that there are other alternatives and frankly, history, literature and even religious texts are full of examples of tenancy gone wrong. When people want their money out, it isn’t easy to simply sell a shopping centre, so its paid from cash reserves until deals can come through, which often means that funds hold a fair bit of cash to cover normal exits. I have now experienced multiple occasions when property funds were suspended and never want to put clients at risk in this way.
Admittedly there are REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) which is really an investment into a single company which then invests in property. The main advantage being that you own shares in the company, which can be much more easily traded (in theory). However, as a company and “Investment Trust” it can borrow money to invest in more property – known as gearing. This can be great when things are going well, but disastrous when they are not, magnifying the returns of each.
As there are plenty of ways to skin a cat, I just don’t see why you need to take this additional risk, which is dressed up as diversification. So we don’t… and that’s another thing you don’t have to worry about.
You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
GET IN TOUCH
Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT