Mutual funds investing the real estate sector should be a necessary addition to portfolios with a long term horizon even though the sector has traversed rough waters in the recent past. Real estate mutual funds have delivered significantly high returns in the past and offer a convenient method for investing in this sector. With their low initial investment requirements, well diversified portfolios and professional management they can go a long way in lowering the risk involved. They also bring stability and steady returns to portfolios over the long term.

Below we will share with you the 5 best performing real estate mutual funds year to date.  To view the Zacks Rank and past performance of all real estate funds, investors can click here to see the complete list of funds.



Mutual Fund


Zacks Rank


Total Return YTD


Forward International Real Estate A HHaHh


#1 Strong Buy


47.3%


Fidelity International Real Estate


#1 Strong Buy


29.3%


JPMorgan International Realty A


#1 Strong Buy


26.3%


Virtus International Real Estate Sec urities A


#1 Strong Buy


25.6%


Cohen & Steers Emerging Markets Real Estate A


#1 Strong Buy


24.6%




Forward International Real Estate A (KIRAX) invests the majority of its assets in foreign equity securities issued by companies from the real estate sector and those engaged in related activities. The fund may purchase emerging market securities and purchase ADRs. The growth mutual fund returned 54.98% over the last one year period.
Ian S. Goltra is the Fund Manager and he has been managing this real estate mutual fund since 2010.



Fidelity International Real Estate (FIREX) seeks capital growth. The fund focuses on acquiring foreign common stocks. The fund invests substantially in firms from the real estate sector and related investments. The growth mutual fund returned 31.23% over the last one year period.



The real estate mutual fund has an expense ratio of 1.12% compared to a category average of 1.46%.



JPMorgan International Realty A (JIRAX) invests heavily in equity securities of real estate investment trusts (REITS). It invests in relatively smaller REITs and other real estate firms. A maximum of 20% of its assets are utilized to purchase non dollar denominated foreign securities or those issued by foreign firms or governments. The growth mutual fund returned 28.42% over the last one year period.



As of September 2012, this real-estate mutual fund held 58 issues, with 6.70% of its total assets invested in Sun Hung Kai Properties, Ltd.



Virtus International Real Estate Securities A (PXRAX) seeks capital appreciation over the long term. A large share of the fund's assets is utilized to purchase equity securities of foreign companies form the real estate sector. The growth mutual fund returned 13% over the last one year period.



Frank J. Haggerty, Jr. is the Fund Manager and he has been managing this real estate mutual fund since 2007.



Cohen & Steers Emerging Markets Real Estate A (AFPAX) invests the majority of its assets in securities issued by real estate firms and other securities with identical economic features. A maximum of 20% of its assets may be utilized to purchase securities issued by real estate firms which are not from emerging markets. The growth mutual fund returned 14.75% over the last one year period.



The real estate mutual fund has an expense ratio of 1.80% compared to a category average of 1.46%.



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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