Articles such as the recent post on Seeking Alpha that referred to Cohen & Steers as the “King of REITs” stir my interest – though, perhaps, not in a typical way. The article noted that “Cohen & Steers has been around since 1986 and is the first investment company to specialize in investing in listed real estate securities.” It also noted that about two-thirds of its $49 billion it had under management at the end of the first quarter of 2014 were invested in real estate-related securities.
My interest in such articles is to check the historical record to see if, in fact, a fund manager or fund family should be considered one of those “masters of the universe” who persistently generate alpha, outperforming their appropriate benchmarks. I was particularly interested in Cohen & Steers because prior to making the switch in 1995 to using passively managed funds (such as index funds), my firm, Buckingham, had used Cohen & Steers for allocations to REITs. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the “King of REITS” has done – knowing that hindsight is 20/20 (we know today that perhaps Cohen & Steers is the “King,” but 20 years ago, we couldn’t have known with certainty that it would become the king).
Read the rest of the article on Seeking Alpha.