What is a REIT?

From Wikipedia:

A Real Estate Investment Trust or REIT (ret, rhymes with treat) is a tax designation for a corporation investing in real estate that reduces or eliminates corporate income taxes. The REIT structure was designed to provide a similar structure for investment in real estate as mutual funds provide for investment in stocks.

Like other corporations, REITs can be publicly or privately held. Public REITs may be listed on public stock exchanges like shares of common stock in other firms.

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