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“Based on the past four quarterly distributions, the Vanguard REIT ETF yields more than 4% at current pricing. And it VNQ, -0.66% features the typical rock-bottom cost of a Vanguard fund, with an expense ratio of just 0.12%, or $12 annually on each $10,000 invested,” according to MarketWatch. “And while the ETF is indeed focused on real estate investment trusts, it’s also diversified across the different flavors that are out there; about 26% of assets are in retail REITs, 17% in residential REITs and 12% in both health-care and office REITs.”

Industry observers also argue that REITs could see continued strength in 2016 as the real estate asset category is elevated to the 11th headline sector in the Global Industry Classification Standard, or GICS. As REITs gain a sector classification, investors may no longer relegate real estate as an alternative investment and funnel more money into the area as part of a diversified equity portfolio.

Vanguard REIT ETF