A REIT Winner Among Us

As I perused the website of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) the other day, I was happy to spot the following tidbit:

No Knocking This Block:Phocas Financial's Ralph Block won the 2005 Real Estate Portfolio Stock Challenge by the slimmest of margins. Block's five-stock portfolio netted a total return of 18.98%, narrowly edging out A.G. Edwards' Art Havener (18.88% return). For complete results and to learn the winner's strategy and outlook for 2006, be sure to read the March/April issue of Real Estate Portfolio.

The reason for my smile? The name "Ralph Block" was quite familiar to me. Mr. Block has been a valued member of our Fool Community of discussion boards for many years. (According to his profile, he's posted more than 1,500 messages, which have received a total of about 11,000 recommendations. He was even a runner-up in our 2003 Feste Awards.) He's also the author of several books on REITs, such as the hot-off-the-presses Investing in REITs.

If you'd like to learn more from Mr. Block, you don't have to wait for NAREIT's March/April issue. You'll find him posting away on our boards -- mainly the Real Estate Investment Trusts / REITs board. One recent post offered his thoughts on why so many REITs are sporting unusually low yields, around 3%. He also posts a regular newsletter on the board. The board denizens have already launched a stock-picking contest for 2006 -- and Mr. Block is participating. His six picks include Ventas (NYSE: VTR  ) , AMB Properties (NYSE: AMB  ) , and Host Marriott (NYSE: HMT  ) . REITs picked by other contestants include Avalonbay Communities (NYSE: AVB  ) , Developers Diversified Realty (NYSE: DDR  ) , and General Growth Properties (NYSE: GGP  ) .

Click in to see what's happening on the board -- you can try our entire Fool Community for free for a whole month. Our boards have much more to offer than you might think -- give them a whirl.

LongtimeFoolcontributorSelena Maranjiandoes not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article.

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