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|Fund Symbol||Dividend Yield||Annual Expense Ratio||Morningstar Rating|
|Vanguard REIT Index Fund (VGSIX)||4%||0.26%||3/5 Stars|
|T. Rowe Price Real Estate Fund (TRREX)||2.40%||0.76%||4/5 Stars|
|Fidelity Real Estate Fund (FRESX)||2.40%||0.78%||4/5 Stars|
The Fidelity and T. Rowe Price funds offer a lower dividend yield than the Vanguard fund, but they make up for this by investing in higher-growth REITs. Both funds carry a 4/5 Morningstar rating, and both have outperformed the broader markets this year. The Fidelity and T. Rowe Price funds have returned 4% each this year, while the S&P 500 Index is down 1% year to date.
Of course, there are pros and cons of each fund that investors should carefully consider before buying.
Even if the Federal Reserve does raise rates, it likely will be a small increase – to 25 basis points. From there, it also is likely the Federal Reserve will take a cautious approach and raise rates slowly over time, so as not to endanger the economic recovery in the United States. As a result, it is likely the above-average dividend yields offered by REITs will still be attractive to income investors, even if interest rates rise slightly this year.
Interest rates remain near historic lows, as the U.S. Federal Reserve continues to delay raising interest rates. Interest rates have not been increased in a decade. This has resulted in very low yields across most asset classes. However, real estate investment trusts offer high yields, which are very strong yields in today’s investing climate.
Furthermore, these yields are attractive, whether rates rise this year or not. As a result, income investors who are starved for yield should consider diversifying their portfolios to include some REIT mutual funds.
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