(Bloomberg) -- Years of low interest rates have sparked an intense search for yield, with many investors seeking out heftier returns in riskier corners of financial markets. So- called 'yield plays' including real estate investment trusts (Reits), master limited partnerships (MLPs), some initial public offerings, leveraged loans, and the bottom tier of the corporate credit market have offered relief for the return-ravenous, rate- restrained investor.

With an interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve now widely expected to take place next month, however, some of the air has been firmly kicked out of yield plays' tires. Risk appetite appears reduced and investors seem to be growing more discerning when it comes to just where they are putting their money to work.

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