For investors looking to park their funds in the real estate sector, mutual funds are the most cheapest and convenient method. This category of funds also offers superior protection against inflation. The real estate sector has seen tough times recently but the presence of these investments generally adds stability to a portfolio. This is because the volatility in property prices is far less compared to the kind experienced by stocks. Adding such funds to a widely diversified portfolio would increase returns while reducing the associated risk significantly.

Below we will share with you 5 top rated real estate mutual funds. Each has earned a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) as we expect these mutual funds to outperform their peers in the future. To view the Zacks Rank and past performance of all real estate funds, investors can click here to see the complete list of funds.

VALIC Company I Global Real Estate (VGREX) invests most of its assets in companies involved in real estate and related activities. A maximum of 75% of assets can be invested in foreign securities which may include securities from emerging markets. The real-estate mutual fund returned 25.35% over the last one year period.

Joe Rodriguez, Jr. is the Fund Manager and he has been managing this real estate mutual fund since 2008.

PACE Global Real Estate Securities A (PREAX) seeks total return. The majority of its assets is parked in companies related to the real estate industry. Investments are made worldwide. Apart from investing in domestic companies, investments are made in a minimum of three other countries. The real-estate mutual fund is non-diversified and has returned 23.70% over the last one year period.

The real estate mutual fund has an expense ratio of 1.45% in line with the category average.

Forward Real Estate Long/Short A (KSRAX) invests the majority of its assets in REITs and real estate companies. Investments are made on a global basis including emerging and frontier market nations. This non-diversified real-estate mutual fund returned 20.38% over the last one year period.

Paul Gray is the fund manager and he has managed this real estate mutual fund since 1999.

Invesco Global Real Estate A (AGREX) invests in equity and debt securities of companies which operate in the real estate sector. A maximum of 30% of its assets are utllised to purchase securities rated below investment grade. The real-estate mutual fund returned 22.84% over the last one year period

As of April 2013, this real estate mutual fund held 114 issues, with 3.96% of its total assets invested in Simon Property Group Inc.

Cohen & Steers International Realty A (IRFAX) seeks total return. The fund invests a large share of its assets in securities of foreign companies whose principal operations are related to the real estate sector. A small portion is also invested in real estate related domestic companies. The real-estate mutual fund is non-diversified and returned 30.13% over the last one year period.

The real estate mutual fund has an expense ratio of 1.72% compared to a category average of 1.35%.

To view the Zacks Rank and past performance of all real estate mutual funds, investors can click here to see the complete list of funds.

About Zacks Mutual Fund Rank

By applying the Zacks Rank to mutual funds, investors can find funds that not only outpaced the market in the past but are also expected to outperform going forward. Learn more about the Zacks Mutual Fund Rank at http://www.zacks.com/funds.
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Tickers in this Article: VGREX, PREAX, KSRAX, AGREX, IRFAX

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