The global real estate landscape has seen significant growth in 2023, primarily led by the data center, resorts, and healthcare sectors, according to the latest FTSE EPRA Nareit Global Real Estate Index. In 2024, continued global growth in digital-driven and industrial real estate is seen partly because of expansions of key regions around the world, specifically the US, Europe, and Asia.

Despite current high-interest rates, it is easy to understand the preference among seasoned investors for real estate as a reliable source of passive income, stable cash flow, and portfolio diversification. Its values tend to increase over time, which can lead to a higher cash flow.

One way to invest in this growth opportunity is through a real estate investment trust or REIT, for short. Global REITs offer investors a unique asset class that combines the income-generating potential of global real estate with the convenience and accessibility of traditional securities.

Global REITs: What’s the hype about?

The first thing to talk about is affordability. Unlike buying properties outright, retail investors don’t have to shore up significant capital to invest in global REITs. They will still own shares of these real estate properties and get cash payouts through the properties’ rental income, making them a good passive investment.

Second, and more importantly, is accessibility in the aspect of new growth sectors in real estate globally. Local REITs have been limited to residential, commercial, and office real estate while global REITs are much more diversified in different sectors. There are even specialized REITs overseas in sectors of agriculture, healthcare, telecommunications, and data centers.

Many investors all over the world are coming to the same conclusion. In recent years, the global trust fund market has witnessed a remarkable surge in popularity, with the number of REITs listed worldwide increasing dramatically from 120 in 1989 to 893 in 2018, based on Nareit data.

Moreover, the market capitalization for REITs worldwide is now at around US$1.9 trillion, representing an annual growth rate of almost 17%.

Opening the door to the world’s prime global REITs

Local investors can now maximize the opportunities being opened by global REITs through the AXA Global REIT and Property Income Fund which is available through a unit-linked insurance plan called Asset Master.

Building on the reach and reputation of the AXA Group as a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management, this innovative fund allows investors to gain exposure to a carefully selected portfolio of top-tier global REITs, enabling them to diversify their holdings and benefit from the growth potential of prime real estate assets all over the world.

AXA’s Global REIT and Property Income Fund invests in the largest global REITs in the world, providing investors with exposure to a wide range of global real estate opportunities. This allows for diversification and the potential to benefit from different property market cycles across various regions.

For instance, the fund provides investors exposure to REITs in the global infrastructure industry, tapping into the growth of real estate companies leasing antennae sites to top communication brands such as Verizon and AT&T, to name a few. As the demand for wireless communication continues to grow, these infrastructure REITs can offer a stable income stream and long-term growth potential.

The fund also invests in commercial REITs that rent out retail spaces to well-known companies like FedEx, 7-Eleven, Walgreens, and others; as well as industrial REITs that lease logistic facilities to major companies like Amazon, FedEx, Walmart, and more.

The fund also includes investments in data centers, which provide network and cloud-based services to technology giants such as Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, and Apple, and even has exposure in healthcare REITs that invest in senior housing facilities in the United States.

As the digital economy expands, the demand for data centers, industrial and commercial spaces, and e-commerce logistics facilities is only expected to grow ever higher, meaning that investments in these REITs have an opportunity for attractive returns and a stable income stream for years to come.

As with all equity funds, the AXA Global REIT and Property Income Fund caters to those with an aggressive risk-return profile.

A more holistic pursuit of wealth management

Aimed at serving the needs of customers to build and protect their legacy, the AXA Global REIT and Property Income Fund can be availed via Asset Master, AXA’s unit-linked insurance plan. Beyond the profitable property opportunities, the fund combined with the Asset Master insurance plan provides passive income through monthly cash payouts of up to 5% per annum and guarantees investors with at least 125% of the amount invested as life insurance coverage.

Investing in a unit-linked insurance plan goes beyond wealth growth. This is where it stands out from all the other investment options as it is also a smart estate planning move. The conventional idea of leaving a financial legacy to one’s family is by passing on properties accumulated throughout their lifetime.  Properties or other assets are the usual inheritance that heirs receive, often co-owned with others. The transfer of ownership of these real properties and assets can be cumbersome and costly due to tax obligations, which — in many instances — the heirs are not financially prepared to pay. It’s always best to ensure that a good amount of cash is part of one’s estate.

Unit-linked insurance plans like Asset Master are one of the best ways to have cash available in one’s estate at the time of death. The proceeds from the insurance payout of an Asset Master policy provide liquidity and are tax-exempt (if the named beneficiaries are designated as irrevocable or if they were never changed through the tenure of the policy). This therefore allows the seamless transfer of money to one’s heirs which can form part of the inheritance itself or may be used to pay estate taxes and other immediate liquidity needs.

AXA Philippines is an established and experienced global insurance company. It is one of the largest and fastest-growing in the Philippines, offering financial security to over 1 million individuals through life insurance products, savings and investments, health plans, and income protection, as well as general insurance.

Learn more about protecting and growing your wealth with Asset Master and the AXA Global REIT and Property Income Fund by watching the video below or visiting AXA’s website.

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