Thursday, February 01, 2007

New name, (hopefully) same results

One of my best purchases of 2006 would have to be the 220 units of Westfield REIT I added to my RRSP in August.

I was thinking of getting REIT exposure in general and was leaning towards the iShares REIT ETF (XRE on the TSX) when I came across Westfield. I liked Westfield's focus on office properties in Western Canada both as a way to gain real estate exposure in my portfolio, but also as an indirect play on Alberta's booming economy. As it turns out, both would have been solid investments (Westfield's gone from $13.91 to $16, a 14.8% increase, while XRE has gone from $14.35 to $16.80, a 17.1% increase before distributions.) I probably will move to the ETF eventually, but I really like Westfield's prospects in the short term, and as such I like its odds of beating the index for the next little while. The fact that they give me a slight discount for reinvesting my distributions into new units is a bonus at this point.

News came out yesterday that Westfield is changing it's name to Artis REIT effective February 15th.

I don't particularly know or care what's prompted the name change. They could call themselves World's Crappiest REIT at this point -- as long as the fundamentals are there and the financial results are pointing in the right direction, I'll stay invested.

DISCLOSURE: As if it weren't obvious, I own units in Westfield

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