This column was originally published on RealMoney on Jan. 22 at 1:59 p.m. EST. It's being republished as a bonus for readers. For more information about subscribing to RealMoney, please click here .

It takes all kinds of positions to make a well-balanced portfolio, and although it's much more exciting to present high-risk/high-reward ideas in my columns, insiders are good at bringing me investment ideas across the spectrum of risk.

On the lower end of that scale is Franklin Street Properties ( FSP). Franklin is not your run-of-the-mill real estate investment trust. I like how it stands out from the crowd, and the prospects for this security's total return over the coming year.

Franklin manages a portfolio of primarily suburban office buildings. But it also acts as an investment banker by syndicating new properties to accredited investors. This REIT therefore generates banking fees, along with rental income and gains from property sales.

If Franklin's management feels particularly bullish on a piece of syndicated property, it offers to roll the preferred shares of that syndicate into the portfolio of the publicly traded REIT. Given that Franklin has been banker, buyer and seller by the time management decides to merge with a syndicate, decisions to merge can be seen as Franklin "cherry-picking" the best of its own syndication deals for the benefit of the public REIT.

Merging a group of its syndicates together is actually how FSP first started trading on the stock exchange in the summer of 2005. There was no IPO and no raising of money. Franklin merely registered the preferred shareholders of numerous syndicates, and FSP was born.

What Franklin saved in IPO costs, however, it lost in the way of potential analyst coverage. Coming to market so oddly, and not needing money, FSP remains woefully underfollowed on Wall Street, despite its $1.4 billion market cap.

This REIT's oddities, and the lack of coverage, is likely why FSP has a relatively low valuation relative to its peers. The security's trailing-price/funds-from-operations (FFO) per share of less than 13 is a good 15% below its industry's average. At the same time, FSP's indicated yield of 6.3% is double that of most its peers. Meanwhile, Franklin's return on equity of 10% is at the high end for its group -- despite the fact that the REIT has no debt.

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