NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In its 2013 Best Global Brands report, Interbrand crowned LVMH Moet Hennessy's Louis Vuitton the world's most valuable luxury brand for the eighth consecutive year. The Louis Vuitton brand is valued at a massive $23.58 billion.
Customers rely on brands when comparing choices, providing a powerful tool and competitive advantage that is hard to beat -- as long as that advantage can withstand the test of time. As Warren Buffett said, "Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it's not going to get the business."
So where do you find the Louis Vuitton of real estate investment trusts that could provide long-term wealth creation and reliability synonymous with "best-in-class" premium brands?
REITs are just a form of security in which any investor can own one share of stock. You don't have to be worth billions to buy that stock, though the benefits of owning a REIT can be luxurious. Because REITs, by law, must pay out at least 90% of taxable income to shareholders, investors enjoy a highly dependable product that is driven by dividend repeatability.
Unlike C Corporations, REITs were designed to provide investors with reliable sources of income and today there are over 180 U.S. REITs (equity and mortgage) that collectively make up over $700 billion of value. There are many different types of REITs today and while there are leaders and laggards alike, the most successful REIT brands have been able to build their strategies on vivid and hardy forms of differentiation.