This ETF offers exposure to the real estate industry within the U.S. equity market , an asset class that has been recently overlooked by many investors following the unprecedented housing crisis. IYR follows the Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index, which has fewer than 100 holdings diversified primarily across large and mid-cap size companies. Real estate has historically been embraced because of its ability to deliver excess returns during bull markets and low correlation with traditional stock and bond investments. REITs might appeal to investors seeking current income, as these trusts must distribute at least 90% of their income to investors, and offer an efficient way for investors to gain indirect exposure to real estate prices (as opposed to direct exposure gained through ownership of a residential property). VNQ is a cheaper alternative with similar exposure, while FRL boasts the lowest expense fee in this category.
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