NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- "What is a sovereign wealth fund?" asked one of my colleagues the other day. "Good question," I countered, and then I began to stumble through a rough answer of what I could remember about these types of funds.Checking with Investopedia I reacquainted myself with the correct answer. A sovereign wealth fund is "a pool of money derived from a country's reserves, which are set aside for investment purposes that will benefit the country's economy and citizens. "The funding for a sovereign wealth fund (SWF) comes from central bank reserves that accumulate as a result of budget and trade surpluses, and even from revenue generated from the exports of natural resources." The nation with the world's largest SWF ($682 billion), built from its vast oil and natural gas resources, is
FUR's generous dividend represents a payout ratio of 250% of the company's earnings (or "funds-from-operation" as they call it in the world of REITs), which is quite lofty. Winthrop trades at a forward (one-year) PE ratio of only 9.
A very unique way to participate in the office REIT space is with Government Properties Income Trust ( GOV), an office REIT with about $1.7 billion of office properties in 31 states and Washington D.C. As its name implies, it likes to rent properties to government tenants. In fact 71% of GOV's annualized rental income comes from the federal government.