A REIT as an ETF might be an odd concept for some advisors. Since REITS are a special asset class unto themselves, and ETF made up of them could seem foreign. Their big advantage is that they are much cheaper than actively managed real estate strategies. However, risks abound, especially as many REITs tend to focus only on the US market, which could be very risky at the moment. One good REIT ETF is the Schwab US REIT, which has returned over 5% this year despite rising rates, and sports a 4%+ yield. Schwab points out that one of the best parts of REITS is that they “do not move in lockstep with either stocks or bonds.” The Vanguard Real Estate ETF is another good REIT choice. For global exposure try the SPDR Dow Jones Global Real Estate.
FINSUM: We like REITs in principal, but rates are a big worry at the moment. They seem like a good way to earn yield right now, but should probably be hedged.