The article states that the value of Inland American's holdings has plunged 60%. Wrong. This is based on the $10.00 per share price that investors paid for their shares and the recently announced $4.00 per share value. The difference between the original $10.00 per share and current estimate of $4.00 per share is indeed 60%, but it excludes the value of the Xenia Hotels & Resorts (XHR) spin-off that all Inland American investors received. I figure the listing of XHR was worth approximately $2.80 per share to Inland American investors, or 28% or their original investment (and XHR stock has gone up since its listing). The article mentions XHR, but not the amount returned to investors. The amount investors received in XHR needs to be added to Inland American's remaining value. Inland American still has its issues and investors are still at a loss, but the XHR listing was a major event.
The article further states (my emphasis):
Fundraising by nontraded REITs has now cooled. The funds pulled in about $15 billion in 2014, down by a quarter from 2013, in part because the funds returned just $12.9 billion of investors’ original capital last year, down from $17.2 billion in the previous year.My own research showed $13.5 billion of original equity experienced liquidity events in 2014, not $12.9 billion. If you use the WSJ numbers, in two years there was over $30 billion of liquidity. If you look back at the lack of liquidity in the '80s, '90s, and '00s, $30 billion of capital returned to investors in a two-year span is stunning.
(There is more than a small irony that the article complains about 2014's drop in fund raising for non-traded REITs due to the decline in liquidity events. Selling a REIT upon its liquidity event to reinvest in another non-traded REIT is a story in itself and a bigger industry-wide issue than two well-known, struggling REITs.)
Journalists and business publications have to get better covering and understanding non-traded REITs (and their sort of brethren business development companies). These investments have raised billions since 2008, and to sound alarms and recyle old themes without addressing current issues is not helping investors. The only thing missing from this article was as a Leo Wells reference.