Top 5 Best Performing Real Estate Mutual Funds (March 2011)

For most investors, investing directly in the real estate sector may appear to be an exorbitant proposition. Mutual funds are one of the most convenient and cost effective methods of investing in this industry. This category of funds also offers significant protection against inflationary pressures. In fact, several studies have shown that real estate funds deliver better results on this count compared to precious metals. The presence of funds from this category in a well diversified portfolio ensures higher returns while reducing the risk factor as a whole.

Below we will share with you the 5 best performing real estate mutual funds year to date.

Mutual Fund Zacks Rank Total Return YTD
ProFunds Real Estate UltraSector #2 Buy 5.3%
Delaware REIT A #3 Hold 3.8%
Delaware Pooled REIT Port II #3 Hold 3.8%
Rydex Real Estate A #3 Hold 3.6%
Cohen & Steers Equity Income A #1 Strong Buy 3.5%

ProFunds Real Estate UltraSector (REPSX) invests at least 80% of its assets in equity securities which are included in the Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate index. The fund may also purchase securities which are identical in nature and may utilize sample techniques to meet its objectives. The real estate mutual fund returned 54.25% over the last one year period.

The real estate mutual fund has an expense ratio of 2.72% compared to a category average of 1.49%.

Delaware REIT A (DPREX) seeks total return over the long term with a secondary objective of capital growth. Securities of companies whose major operations are in the real estate domain constitute the fund’s major investments. It invests heavily in real estate investment trusts. The real-estate mutual fund has a ten year annualized return of 9.53%.

Babak J. Zenouzi is the Fund Manager and he has been managing this real estate mutual fund since 2006.

Delaware Real Estate Investment Trust II (DPRTX) invests at least 80% of its assets in real estate investment trusts. The fund also purchases equity securities of real estate operating companies. It may also invest in money market instruments and hold cash. The real-estate mutual fund has a five year annualized return of 2.23%.

As of December 2010, this real estate mutual fund held 54 issues, with 9.34% of its total assets invested in Simon Property Group, Inc.

Rydex Real Estate A (RYREX) seeks capital growth. The fund invests a large proportion of its assets in domestically traded real estate equity securities. Small and mid-cap real estate companies constitute its major investments. It may also invest in options, futures, ADRs and U.S. government securities. The real estate mutual fund returned 36.27% over the last one year period.

The real estate mutual fund has a minimum initial investment of $2,500 and an expense ratio of 1.65% compared to a category average of 1.47%.

Cohen & Steers Realty Shares (CSRSX) invests the majority of its assets in equity securities of real estate companies. It invests in common and preferred stock, convertible securities and shares of real estate investment trusts. The real-estate mutual fund has a ten year annualized return of 4.64%.

Robert M. Steers is the Fund Manager and he has been managing this real estate mutual fund since 1991.

To view the Zacks Rank and past performance of all real estate mutual funds, then click here.

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