Special Education Online Graduate Degree and Certificate Programs #moderate,severe,reading #specialist,behavior #analyst,fitchburg #state


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Online/Hybrid Special Education

We’ve taken our current program with highly qualified instructors and made it even better by creating a student-centered, online/hybrid format while maintaining quality learning outcomes. A dedicated collaborative team has ensured the courses, program design, faculty training, student orientation and support are of the highest caliber.

  • Online delivery, with limited Saturday sessions for select classes designed to facilitate interaction and collaboration
  • Licensure and non-licensure options
  • Student-friendly, highly engaging technological tools to ensure an easy to access, rich and rigorous learning experience
  • More accessible for teachers and aspiring teachers throughout the state
  • 24/7 technical support, self-paced introductory course, and student orientation

Master of Education in Special Education Degrees

Graduate Certificate Programs

Special Education Student Resources

Still have questions? We’re here to help!

We know you’re busy, so we’ve given you a few different options to conveniently get the answers you need. You can…


International credit insurance #aig, #aig #analyst #estimates, #aig #earnings #estimates, #aig #share


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American International Group Inc.

  • Jul. 27, 2017 at 9:02 a.m. ET
  • by Howard Gold

American International Group Inc. said it has named Peter Zaffino as its new chief operating officer, effective August 1. Zaffino comes to the role from Marsh LLC, a unit of insurance brokerage Marsh McLennan Cos. Inc. where he was chief executive. Zaffino has also done stints at Guy Carpenter Co. and at a GE Capital portfolio company. He will have a base salary of $1.25 million, a short-term annual bonus target of $3 million and an annual long-term incentive award of $4.25 million. The executive will also receive a signing-on bonus of $15 million, partly in the form of stock options. AIG shares were slightly lower premarket, but are down 3.8% in 2017, while the S P 500 has gained 8.7%.

  • Jul. 6, 2017 at 7:48 a.m. ET
  • by Ciara Linnane

AIG names Peter Zaffino COO effective Aug. 1

AIG names Peter Zaffino COO effective Aug. 1

  • Jul. 6, 2017 at 7:42 a.m. ET
  • by Ciara Linnane

AmTrust Financial Services Inc. said Monday it would replace chief financial officer Ronald Pipoly Jr. with Adam Karkowsky, another company insider. The beleaguered insurer said the move was an internal decision that stemmed from a desire to beef up its finance capacities and wasn t connected to any regulatory scrutiny.

  • Jun. 5, 2017 at 1:10 p.m. ET
  • by MarketWatch.com
  • May. 17, 2017 at 10:59 a.m. ET
  • by Ciara Linnane
  • May. 16, 2017 at 3:02 p.m. ET
  • by Jacob Passy

AIG upgraded to overweight at Morgan Stanley

AIG upgraded to overweight at Morgan Stanley

  • May. 16, 2017 at 8:44 a.m. ET
  • by Tomi Kilgore

American International Group Ltd. Hamilton Insurance Group Ltd. and Two Sigma Insurance Quantified LP, a unit of Two Sigma Investments LP, said Monday they have entered a memorandum of understanding to expand their partnership with the aim of boosting their role in data-driven underwriting. As part of the deal, AIG has agreed in principle to acquire Hamilton USA, the U.S. platform of Hamilton Insurance. The companies will expand the target market of their Attune platform, which they launched in September 2016 to serve the U.S. small to medium-sized commercial insurance market. Attune will now target companies with annual revenue of up to $35 million, a market the companies estimate is worth up to $150 billion in annual gross written premiums. AIG and Two Sigma will enter a partnership to advance the latter s data science and technology for AIG s commercial insurance business. Hamilton Re and AIG will enter a reinsurance partnership, in which Hamilton Re will participate in more of AIG s ceded reinsurance. Putting data science and technology to work in our industry has been on my agenda for some time, said AIG s new Chief Executive Officer Brian Duperreault, founder and ex-CEO of Hamilton Insurance. AIG shares were not yet active premarket, but have gained 23% in 2017, while the S P 500 has gained 7%.

  • May. 15, 2017 at 8:07 a.m. ET
  • by Ciara Linnane

AIG agrees in principle to acquire Hamilton USA as part of expansion

AIG agrees in principle to acquire Hamilton USA as part of expansion

  • May. 15, 2017 at 7:57 a.m. ET
  • by Ciara Linnane

AIG, Hamilton Insurance and Two Sigma Insurance to expand partnership

AIG, Hamilton Insurance and Two Sigma Insurance to expand partnership

  • May. 15, 2017 at 7:57 a.m. ET
  • by Ciara Linnane

Brian Duperreault. 70-year old founder and CEO of Bermuda-based Hamilton Insurance Group, will be new CEO of AIG.

  • May. 15, 2017 at 7:51 a.m. ET
  • by Joann S. Lublin

How to Become a Forensic Computer Analyst: Career Roadmap #computer #forensic #schools,


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How to Become a Forensic Computer Analyst: Career Roadmap

Becoming a Forensic Computer Analyst?

Forensic computer analysts work in a variety of areas, including national defense, federal and local government, law enforcement and corporate and private sector investigative organizations. Analysts retrieve encrypted or erased data from computers, smart phones and other computing devices. The information recovered must be analyzed and restored to its original, undamaged state, a task that requires specialized skills and tools. This information is recovered for use in legal proceedings or in conjunction with criminal investigations or for national security purposes.

Forensic computer analysts usually work alone in a comfortable office setting, though they also might sometimes work in teams. They could also have to travel to serve several government offices or law enforcement agencies. Like forensic science technicians and other types of investigators, these specialists might have unpredictable work hours, since they can be on call to work cases at any time. However, like all those who contribute to solving crimes, they also have the satisfaction of knowing they are working to keep the public safe.

Career Requirements

Digital forensics, computer forensics, computer security, or related field

Voluntary certifications available

Good analytical and communication skills; comprehensive and accurate report writing; knowledge of all operating systems, digital storage devices, networking, data recovery, and evidence chain-of-custody procedures

$68,357 (median for forensic computer analysts)

Sources: Forensic computer analyst job listings, Computer forensics/digital forensics degree programs, PayScale.com.

Aspiring forensic computer analysts typically need a bachelor’s degree in a field such as digital forensics, computer forensics, or computer security. Multiple voluntary certifications are also available. These professionals should also have some key skills. such as analytical ability, comprehensive and accurate report writing, good communication skills, evidence of chain-of-custody procedures, knowledge of digital storage devices, and knowledge of all operating systems.

According to Payscale.com in 2016 forensic computer analysts made a median annual salary of $68,357.

Let’s go over, in more detail, the steps needed to enter this career.

Step 1: Obtain a Degree

Forensic computer analysts require an educational background that prepares them for intensive computer-based investigative work. There are associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs that cover essential digital data coursework in forensics and operating system forensics, hacking, computer and network security, law and procedure. Some bachelor’s degree programs offer digital forensics as a minor, while the student obtains a major in finance, criminal justice, law or computer science as the field where the candidate plans to conduct forensic computer investigations. Regardless of the degree level, the basic digital forensic courses remain very similar.

Those interested in the field should also:

  • Consider takinga professional certificate program. Some schools offer professional certificate programs in digital forensics for working professionals who do not have a bachelor’s degree. These programs focus strictly on computer forensics courses, allowing the professional to obtain computer forensics skills in less than a year.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Computer and Information Sciences, General
  • Computer Programming
  • Computer Systems Analysis
  • Data Entry Processing
  • Information Technology Management
  • Networking and Telecommunications
  • Software and Computer Media Applications

Step 2: Find Employment

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some individuals working in computer forensics learn the specifics of their job while employed by a law enforcement agency. Law enforcement agencies may sponsor forensic training programs, which newly hired analysts attend to immerse themselves in the computer forensics world.

Agencies also employ civilians to perform forensic computer analysis. Forensic computer analysts are also hired by state and local government agencies to work in their administrative offices, which can be targeted by hackers and spyware. The legal profession makes extensive use of digital forensics experts to recover evidence from computer devices for civil litigation; companies hire digital forensic graduates to provide this service for litigation purposes.

  • Be law-abiding. This is a career field that demands high moral and ethical standards. Certifying authorities and employers will often require candidates to undergo background checks and polygraph examinations. The background checks must show no felony convictions or disqualifying misdemeanor convictions. If there are disqualifying convictions, the candidate may not be considered for employment or certification.

Step 3: Obtain Certification

Several digital forensic certifications are available. Some apply to specific fields of forensic analysis, while others are more generic. The Certified Forensic Computer Examiner (CFCE) certification is offered by the International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists (IACIS) and involves a peer-review phase and a certification phase that includes a practical exercise and an examination. The CyberSecurity Institute offers the CyberSecurity Forensic Analyst (CSFA) certification after passing an FBI background check, a practical examination and a written test.

The International Society of Forensic Computer Examiners (ISFCE) offers the Certified Computer Examiner (CCE) certification to applicants who pass a four-part testing process. Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) offers the Certified Forensic Analyst Certification (GCFA) – which covers Linux and Windows computer systems – to candidates who pass an exam consisting of 115 questions. The Digital Forensics Certification Board (DFCB) offers certification based on an assessment of the candidate’s education and experience and the candidate passing the certification examination.

  • Choose the right certification. Some certifications carry more weight than others. Since so many certifications are offered, candidates face the risk that they may obtain a certification that is not exactly what prospective employers require. One way to decide is to review job listings offering the position for which the analyst is applying to determine the certifications that employers want.

Step 4: Continue Training and Education

No matter which certifications the analyst obtains, all of them will require the analyst to complete a minimum number of continuing education hours in order to re-certify. The forensic analyst who does not keep current with the latest technology will not be competitive in this field. Knowing how to use the latest tools on the latest computing devices ensures that the forensic computer analyst can continue to perform his or her data recovery duties effectively and efficiently, and maintaining certification demonstrates this knowledge to potential employers and clients.

  • Consider a master’s degree. Some universities offer Master of Science programs in computer or digital forensics. These are typically graduate programs comprised of a core computer forensics curriculum as well as a group of electives. Electives may cover extra-disciplinary topics such as criminal justice and communications law.
  • Consider graduate certificate programs. Many schools offer graduate-level certificate programs in computer forensics. These programs may be open to students pursuing a degree as well as to non-degree students who wish to learn more about the field. They require coursework in fields like network security and computer crime.

In summary, those who aspire to work as forensic computer analysts should earn a bachelor’s degree in digital forensics or a similar field before earning experience in the field, gaining voluntary certification, and possibly even enrolling in graduate level courses to stay atop of industry changes.

Next: View Schools

  • DBA with an Emphasis in Data Analytics
  • Bridge (Doctor of Business Administration with an Emphasis in Data Analytics)
  • Bridge to the M.S. in Information Technology Management
  • M.S. in Information Technology Management
  • M.S. in Instructional Technology
  • Master of Science in Cyber Security
  • Master of Science in Cyber Security (Bridge)
  • B.S. in Information Technology
  • B.S. in Computer Programming
  • B.S. in Information Technology with an Emphasis in Cyber Security
  • View more
    • BS in Management Information Systems
    • Diploma Program – Cisco Network Associate
    • Diploma Program – Network Technician
    • Certification – Network Technician
    • View more

  • Business Intelligence Analyst Jobs: Career Options and Requirements #business #intelligence #analyst #certification,


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    Business Intelligence Analyst Jobs: Career Options and Requirements

    • Doctorate
        • DBA with an Emphasis in Data Analytics
        • Bridge (Doctor of Business Administration with an Emphasis in Data Analytics)
    • Master
        • Bridge to the M.S. in Information Technology Management
        • M.S. in Information Technology Management
        • M.S. in Instructional Technology
        • Master of Science in Cyber Security
        • Master of Science in Cyber Security (Bridge)
        • Master of Science in Business Analytics
    • Bachelor
        • B.S. in Information Technology
        • BS in Business Admin. – Business Intelligence
        • B.S. in Information Technology with an Emphasis in Cyber Security
        • Bachelor of Science in Applied Business Analytics
        • B.S. in Computer Programming

    Get Started with Grand Canyon University

    4 Colorado Technical University

    Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:

    Get Started with Colorado Technical University

    5 Ashford University

    Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    • Programs offered by Ashford and listed below may not be related to the topic covered by the above article.
    School locations:

    • DBA with an Emphasis in Data Analytics
    • Bridge (Doctor of Business Administration with an Emphasis in Data Analytics)
    • Bridge to the M.S. in Information Technology Management
    • M.S. in Information Technology Management
    • M.S. in Instructional Technology
    • Master of Science in Cyber Security
    • Master of Science in Cyber Security (Bridge)
    • Master of Science in Business Analytics
    • B.S. in Information Technology
    • BS in Business Admin. – Business Intelligence
    • B.S. in Information Technology with an Emphasis in Cyber Security
    • Bachelor of Science in Applied Business Analytics
    • B.S. in Computer Programming
    • View more

  • Security Assessment, VAPT, ECSA Training in Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Gurgaon,


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    A penetration test is done to evaluate the security of a computer system or network by simulating an attack by a malicious user / hacker. The process involves active exploitation of security vulnerabilities that may be present due to poor or improper system configuration, known and / or unknown hardware or software flaws, or operational weaknesses in process or design.

    This analysis is carried out from the position of a potential attacker, to determine feasibility of an attack and the resulting business impact of a successful exploit. Usually this is presented with recommendations for mitigation or a technical solution.

    About this workshop

    This workshop gives an in-depth perspective of penetration testing approach and methodology that covers all modern infrastructure, operating systems and application environments.

    This workshop is designed to teach security professionals the tools and techniques required to perform comprehensive information security assessment.

    Participants will learn how to design, secure and test networks to protect their organization from the threats hackers and crackers pose. This workshop will help participants to effectively identify and mitigate risks to the security of their organization s infrastructure.

    This 40 hour highly interactive workshop will help participants have hands on understanding and experience in Security Assessment.

    A proper understanding of Security Assessment is an important requirement to analyze the integrity of the IT infrastructure.

    Expertise in security assessment is an absolute requirement for a career in information security management and could be followed by management level certifications like CISA, CISSP, CISM, CRISC and ISO 27001.

    There are many reasons to understand Security Assessment:

    • Prepare yourself to handle penetration testing assignments with more clarity
    • Understand how to conduct Vulnerability Assessment
    • Expand your present knowledge of identifying threats and vulnerabilities
    • Bring security expertise to your current occupation
    • Become more marketable in a highly competitive environment

    Therefore this workshop will prepare you to handle VA / PT assignments and give you a better understanding of various security concepts and practices that will be of valuable use to you and your organization.

    This workshop will significantly benefit professionals responsible for security assessment of the network / IT infrastructure.

    • IS / IT Specialist / Analyst / Manager
    • IS / IT Auditor / Consultant
    • IT Operations Manager
    • Security Specialist / Analyst
    • Security Manager / Architect
    • Security Consultant / Professional
    • Security Officer / Engineer
    • Security Administrator
    • Security Auditor
    • Network Specialist / Analyst
    • Network Manager / Architect
    • Network Consultant / Professional
    • Network Administrator
    • Senior Systems Engineer
    • Systems Analyst
    • Systems Administrator

    Anyone aspiring for a career in Security Assessment would benefit from this workshop. The workshop is restricted to participants who have knowledge of ethical hacking countermeasures.

    The entire workshop is a combination of theory and hands-on sessions conducted in a dedicated ethical hacking lab environment.

    • The Need for Security Analysis
    • Advanced Googling
    • TCP/IP Packet Analysis
    • Advanced Sniffing Techniques
    • Vulnerability Analysis with Nessus
    • Advanced Wireless Testing
    • Designing a DMZ
    • Snort Analysis
    • Log Analysis
    • Advanced Exploits and Tools
    • Penetration Testing Methodologies
    • Customers and Legal Agreements
    • Rules of Engagement
    • Penetration Testing Planning and Scheduling
    • Pre Penetration Testing Checklist
    • Information Gathering
    • Vulnerability Analysis
    • External Penetration Testing
    • Internal Network Penetration Testing
    • Routers and Switches Penetration Testing
    • Firewall Penetration Testing
    • IDS Penetration Testing
    • Wireless Network Penetration Testing
    • Denial of Service Penetration Testing
    • Password Cracking Penetration Testing
    • Social Engineering Penetration Testing
    • Stolen Laptop, PDAs and Cell phones Penetration Testing
    • Application Penetration Testing
    • Physical Security Penetration Testing
    • Database Penetration testing
    • VoIP Penetration Testing
    • VPN Penetration Testing
    • War Dialing
    • Virus and Trojan Detection
    • Log Management Penetration Testing
    • File Integrity Checking
    • Blue Tooth and Hand held Device Penetration Testing
    • Telecommunication and Broadband Communication Penetration Testing
    • Email Security Penetration Testing
    • Security Patches Penetration Testing
    • Data Leakage Penetration Testing
    • Penetration Testing Deliverables and Conclusion
    • Penetration Testing Report and Documentation Writing
    • Penetration Testing Report Analysis
    • Post Testing Actions
    • Ethics of a Penetration Tester
    • Standards and Compliance

    What is a Business Analyst? #business #analyst #degree #online


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    ON-SITE PM COURSES

    What is a Business Analyst?

    “Business Analysis is the task of understanding business change needs, assessing the business impact of those changes, capturing, analysing and documenting requirements and supporting the communication and delivery of requirements with relevant stakeholders.”

    If you had a plot of land and wanted to build a house, we hope that you would first engage the services of an architect. The architect would ask you questions – what is your budget, what style of house, how many bedrooms, how much parking or garage space you need, etc. The architect would then draw up plans which they would agree with you before approaching builders to understand the cost of building the house. Once the build was underway the architect would monitor the build to make sure the house was built according to your needs. Occasionally problems might arise requiring the plans to be revised, or, you might want to make some modifications to the plans which would need to be agreed with the builder.

    Being a business analyst is a bit like being an architect but instead of building a house, we are developing or updating a computer system. A business analyst takes responsibility for talking to the business users of the computer system to understand their needs. Instead of producing plans, the business analyst produces ‘requirements’ which clearly state the business needs and align with business processes. The requirements are then used by the IT team or an external supplier to build or modify the system. While the system is being built the business analyst is on hand to deal with issues and questions, and to support the business in implementing the required changes to make effective use of the new system.

    What does it take to be a Business Analyst?

    The business analyst role is often seen as a communication bridge between IT and the business stakeholders. Business analysts must be great verbal and written communicators, tactful diplomats, problem solvers, thinkers and analysers – with the ability to engage with stakeholders to understand and respond to their needs in rapidly changing business environments. This can often involve dealing with very senior stakeholders and can often involve challenging and questioning to ensure that value for money is achieved from IT developments.

    A business analyst does not need to have an IT background although it can help to have some basic understanding of how IT systems work. Some business analysts come from a technical or programming background but they will often come from within the business itself – having a detailed knowledge of the business domain can be equally useful (if not more so!)

    Learn more about the role of the Business Analyst and their responsibilities by attending the BCS Foundation Certificate in Business training course. You can also gain a formal business analysis qualification.

    A Bit of History

    Requiring straightforward automation of repetitive administrative tasks and conversion from paper to electronic data storage, IT projects of the 1970s and 1980s reaped significant financial rewards. “Systems Analysts” took responsibility for documenting existing manual paper based processes, identifying problems and new business requirements, and automating the processes through computerised systems. This provided significant cost savings as well as improvements to business performance through access to electronic information in fractions of a second.

    Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, organisations evolved their IT systems to take further advantage of computer technology – but many projects failed to deliver the desired benefits often because of a focus on delivering ‘technology’ at the expense of business needs. During this period, the role of the “Business Analyst” emerged requiring a deeper understanding of the business and the development of relationships with stakeholders at all levels. As business stakeholders became increasingly IT aware, the business analyst role evolved to support them in achieving their goals while constantly balancing conflicts between business needs and limited IT resources.

    The Business Analyst has Evolved

    Through the new millennium, increasing use of the internet placed even greater demands on IT departments which were increasingly outsourced or off-shored. Organisations themselves became increasingly globalised and more complex as did their IT infrastructures, often containing hundreds (even thousands) of different systems. Agile emerged as a more flexible way of developing and updating IT systems in rapidly changing business environments. During this period, ‘Business Analyst’ became a catch-all job title for many project and business change roles. Different views emerged of the business analyst role, from being a strategic thinker driving change within the organisation, through acting as a process improvement expert and being responsible for eliciting and documenting requirements for IT systems.

    Learn how to be a confident Business Analyst and deliver effective business change by attending our Fundamentals of Business Analysis course.

    Business Analyst Training

    The focus of our training is on business analysis within a project environment, initially supporting the assessment of change proposals, assisting the development of business cases, defining the scope and objectives of the project, defining the requirements for change and then supporting both the technical and business delivery of those changes. We focus on the business analyst’s responsibilities as a change facilitator throughout the business change lifecycle regardless of whether the organisation is ‘agile’ or using traditional project approaches.

    As well as providing business analysts with the key skills to effectively contribute to business change projects, our business analysis training courses coach delegates in a ‘way of thinking’ and analysing that delivers the right result first time with minimal cost and maximum benefit.

    What makes us different?

    Developed over the last two decades and under continuous enhancement, our training courses reflect the demands of business change projects. We focus on the practical application of business analysis techniques in the workplace. Our mission is to ensure delivery of real organisational benefits through effective business analysis. Our training courses are not delivered by ‘trained trainers’ but by tutors with real world experience of working as business analysts and project managers within business change projects. We do not advertise ‘ghost’ courses in multiple locations with no intention of ever running them – 99% of our scheduled courses run where and when we advertise them to run. If for any reason a course does not run as scheduled you will be given the option to transfer to another course or receive a full refund.

    Useful Information About Being or Becoming a Business Analyst

    Business Analyst Competencies . Our Business Analyst Competency Scheme (BACA) can be used as a reference for a business analyst job description, or to assess the skills of your current business analysts.

    How To Become A Business Analyst. If you want to understand more about how you can become a business analyst, or if you want advice on the best training course to start with then please take a look at our guide. We also offer advice on what you can do to improve your CV and your chances of getting a job as a Business Analyst.


    Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) #real #estate #investment #analyst


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    Real Estate Investment Trust – REIT

    BREAKING DOWN ‘Real Estate Investment Trust – REIT’

    REITs, an investment vehicle for real estate that is comparable to a mutual fund. allowing both small and large investors to acquire ownership in real estate ventures, own and in some cases operate commercial properties such as apartment complexes, hospitals, office buildings, timber land, warehouses, hotels and shopping malls.

    All REITs must have at least 100 shareholders, no five of whom can hold more than 50% of shares between them. At least 75% of a REIT’s assets must be invested in real estate, cash or U.S. Treasurys; 75% of gross income must be derived from real estate.

    REITs are required by law to maintain dividend payout ratios of at least 90%, making them a favorite for income-seeking investors. REITs can deduct these dividends and avoid most or all tax liabilities, though investors still pay income tax on the payouts they receive. Many REITs have dividend reinvestment plans (DRIPs​). allowing returns to compound over time.

    REIT History

    REITs have existed for more than 50 years in the U.S. Congress granted legal authority to form REITs in 1960 as an amendment to the Cigar Excise Tax Extension of 1960. That year The National Association of Real Estate Investment Funds, a professional group for the promotion of REITs is founded. The following year it changed its name to the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) .

    In 1965 the first REIT, Continental Mortgage Investors, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). By the late 1960s, major investors, including George Soros. become interested in research on the value of REITs. Mortgage based REITs account for much of the growth of REITs in the early 1970s, and they fuel a housing boom. The boom busts after the oil shocks of 1973 and the recession that follows.

    In 1969 the first European REIT legislation (the Fiscal Investment Institution Regime [fiscale beleggingsinstelling. FBI]) is passed in The Netherlands.

    International REITs

    ​Since their development in Europe, REITs have become available in many countries outside the United States on every continent on Earth.

    The first listed property trusts launch in Australia in 1971.

    Canadian REITs debut in 1993, but they don’t become popular investment vehicles until the beginning of the 21st century.

    REITs began to spread across Asia with the launch of Japanese REITs in 2001.

    REITs in Europe were buoyed by legislation in France (2003), Germany (2007) and the U.K. (2007). In total, about 40 countries now have REIT legislation.

    3 Main Kinds of REITs in the U.S.

    1. Equity REITs invest in and own properties, that is, they are responsible for the equity or value of their real estate assets. Their revenues come principally from leasing space—such as in an office building—to tenants. They then distribute the rents they’ve received as dividends to shareholders. Equity REITs may sell property holdings, in which case this capital appreciation is reflected in dividends. Timber REITs will include capital appreciation from timber sales in their dividends. Equity REITs account for the vast majority of REITs.

    2. Mortgage REITs invest in and own property mortgages. These REITs loan money for mortgages to real estate owners, or purchase existing mortgages or mortgage-backed securities. Their earnings are generated primarily by the net interest margin. the spread between the interest they earn on mortgage loans and the cost of funding these loans. This model makes them potentially sensitive to interest rate increases. In general, mortgage REITs are less highly leveraged than other commercial mortgage lenders, using a relatively higher ratio of equity to debt to fund themselves.

    3. Hybrid REITs invest in both properties and mortgages.

    Individuals can invest in REITs either by purchasing their shares directly on an open exchange or by investing in a mutual fund that specializes in public real estate. Some REITs are SEC -registered and public, but not listed on an exchange; others are private.

    Some REITs will invest specifically in one area of real estate—shopping malls, for example—or in one specific region, state or country. Others are more diversified. There are several REIT ETFs available, most of which have fairly low expense ratios. The ETF format can help investors avoid over-dependence on one company, geographical area or industry.

    REITs provide a liquid and non-capital intensive way to invest in real estate. Many have dividend yields in excess of 10%. REITs are also largely uncorrelated with stocks and bonds, meaning they provide a measure of diversification .