REIT ETF

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DEFINITION of 'REIT ETF'

Exchange-traded funds that invest the majority of assets in equity REIT securities and related derivatives. REIT ETFs are passively managed around an index of publicly traded real estate owners; indexes may vary from provider to provider but two popular benchmarks are the MSCI U.S. REIT Index and the Dow Jones U.S. REIT Index, both of which cover about two-thirds of the aggregate value of the publicly-traded REIT market domestically. REIT ETFs are characterized by their above-average dividend yields.

BREAKING DOWN 'REIT ETF'

REIT securities have traits of both equities and fixed income securities; high dividend yields provide consistent income (REITS must pay out the majority of profits to investors each year), but valuations can swing along with the equity market.

Investors should read prospectus materials closely when researching REIT ETFs; many different indexes with a variety of focuses (commercial mortgages, high-risk mortgages etc.) exist.

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