Fidelity Investments, one of the largest issuers of sector index funds, introduced its first real estate exchange traded fund today with the debut of the Fidelity MSCI Real Estate Index ETF (NYSEArca: FREL).
The Fidelity MSCI Real Estate Index ETF is the twelfth passively managed ETF from Boston-based Fidelity and the eleventh sector ETF from the firm. In October 2013, Fidelity launched 10 sector ETFs that have subsequently experienced rapid growth. In June 2014, Fidelity’s original 10 sector ETFs had a combined $1 billion in assets under management, a number that has since more than doubled to $2.2 billion. [Fidelity Sector ETFs Race to $1 Billion]
Of Fidelity’s first 10 sector ETFs, only the Fidelity MSCI Materials Index ETF (NYSEArca: FMAT) and the Fidelity MSCI Telecommunication Services Index ETF (NYSEArca: FCOM) have yet to exceed $100 million in assets under management.
As is the case with Fidelity’s other sector ETFs, FREL is sub-advised by BlackRock (NYSE: BLK) and becnhmarks to an index from MSCI (NYSE: MSCI).
“Considered by many investors as the 11th sector, we believe there is strong client demand for diversified real estate investments in an ETF wrapper given there is currently $907 billion in listed real estate instruments in the U.S.1,”said Anthony Rochte, president of Fidelity SelectCo, the firm’s dedicated sector investing division, in a statement.
Indeed, real estate will become the eleventh sector in the future. In November, S&P Dow Jones Indices and MSCI announced that real estate will become the eleventh Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) sector. REITs will be split off from financials services to form its own sector, with a 2.5% total value of the S&P 500. [Classification Change Coming for REIT ETFs]
Like Fidelity’s other sector ETFs, FREL carries an annual expense ratio of 0.12%, tying the firm with Vanguard for lowest cost sector ETFs. However, FREL’s 0.12% annual fee is slightly above the 0.1% charged by the Vanguard REIT ETF (NYSEArca: VNQ), the largest REIT ETF.