Highwoods is not alone. The Morgan Stanley REIT Index, which tracks the sector, is up 14.95 percent this year over last year. I believe there are a couple of factors at work here, and I touched on one of them in this space a few weeks ago.
With investors fleeing the tech sector, they're in search of safer havens. REITs, because of their high dividend yields, traditionally are considered to be such. Highwoods, for example, returns an annual dividend yield of 9.75 percent.
- A QSTP has the following advantages:
- Tax Advantages
- Earnings are tax deferred until distributed.
- Earnings are taxed at the beneficiary's tax rate when withdrawn to pay for qualified college education expenses. Most students are in the lowest tax bracket.
- Tax free rollover to new beneficiary.
- A contribution qualifies for the maximum $10,000 gift tax exclusion.
- It qualifies for a special election on the federal gift tax return allowing up to $50,000 per donor in one year. It considers the gift as if it were a contribution given over five years, which is a great way to reduce estate tax.
- No income restrictions regarding who can participate.
- Donor still has control and ownership of the account.
- Lump sum minimums are $1000 or less for most plans.
- Contributions can exceed $100,000.
- Different states offer various investment options ranging from conservative fixed income instruments to portfolios customized to the child's age.
- Most programs have low-cost professional management.
- Many states exempt the earnings on their account from income tax in that state and several offer a deduction for the initial contribution.
- Some states also provide other financial benefits, such as scholarships to program participants.
- Some states include spend thrift provisions, which protects assets from creditor claims.
Have a prosperous week. Dale Gibson is a career journalist and business person who publishes The Gibson Report, a free weekly electronic newsletter on North Carolina business. Questions or comments may be directed to him by e-mail email@example.com by phone at 919-834-1033. To sign up for the free report, go tohttp://www.bizramp.com.