Real estate investment trusts are a great way for beginners to start investing. This class of investments brings all the strengths of the real estate market to investors who can’t afford to buy properties by themselves. Direct ownership of real estate also comes with lots of responsibilities. Even wealthy investors often prefer the convenience of an REIT.

REITs are also one of the best investments for people who want to reliably generate income. Many stocks no longer pay dividends. The traditional so-called “widow’s portfolio” is in many ways a thing of the past. REITs, however, generate some of the best dividends of any class of investment.

Investing in REITs can be a great way of diversifying a portfolio. REITs aren’t just a great alternative to stocks, bonds and funds. They’re also a diverse class in and of themselves. There are REITs that specialize in medical, residential, retail and industrial properties. Some great REITs for first-time investors are discussed below.

First Industrial Realty Trust lets people invest in the burgeoning warehouse sector. As more and more Americans turn to online ordering, retail has taken a hit. Industrial spaces like warehouses, though, are growing. First Industrial Realty owns millions of square feet of warehouses, and leases to clients including Amazon. They are a solid investment with a 2.7 percent dividend yield.

Whitestone is a retail REIT. One of the best benefits of Whitestone is that it pays dividends more frequently than other REITs in its class. Competitors typically pay dividends quarterly or even annually. Whitestone’s more regular distributions let investors know that they made a good choice. Seeing the results helps make them believers. Additionally, they are able to grow their investment more quickly if they decide to reinvest their earnings.

Public storage is an REIT that has been a great performer for years. This is an established company in a sector that continues to grow. Americans are using storage units more than ever before. This REIT offers a whopping 3.8 percent dividend yield. It is a higher yield REIT than many competitors. Storage in general can be a slightly volatile sector, but this REIT is a solid pick.

REITs are a great investment tool for investors at every experience and income level. Both beginners and seasoned investors appreciate their regular dividend payments.