4-Star ETFs Poised to Pop: Vanguard REIT Index

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Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, the Vanguard REIT Index ETF (NYS: VNQ) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at Vanguard REIT and see what CAPS investors are saying about the ETF right now.

Vanguard REIT facts

InceptionSeptember 2004
Total Assets$8.5 billion
Investment ApproachSeeks to track the performance of the MSCI REIT Index, which covers approximately two-thirds of the U.S. REIT market
Expense Ratio0.12%
Dividend Yield3.9%
1-Year / 3-Year / 5-Year Annual Returns2.9% / 15.7% / (1.3%)
Best YTD Performers Among Top 10 Holdings

Simon Property Group (NYS: SPG) (+23.7%)

Public Storage (NYS: PSA) (+20.7%)

Equity Residential (NYS: EQR) (+11.1%)

Alternatives

iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index (NYS: IYR)

iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors Index (NYS: ICF)

Sources: Morningstar and Motley Fool CAPS as of Oct. 21.

On CAPS, 84% of the 272 members who have rated Vanguard REIT believe the ETF will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include All-Stars marc64 and starbucks4ever, both of whom are ranked in the top 5% of our community.

A few months ago, marc64 tapped Vanguard REIT as a timely opportunity:

Capital is king; the ongoing real estate meltdown has created profitable opportunities for the sharks that make money efficiently managing real assets. ... [I]ncomes made in any economic recovery are to some significant extent permanently shifting from paying off mortgage banks to landlords.

Vanguard REIT, in particular, sports a paltry expense ratio of 0.12%. That's lower than that of alternatives like iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate (0.47%) and iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors (0.35%).

CAPS All-Star starbucks4ever offers guidance on how to play the ETF:

VNQ beats S&P hands down. Not all REITs in VNQ are worth buying. But that's OK, as the index goes up, those worthless companies with stupid management will go up even faster than the better managed ones. Retail and industrial REITs will slow down the progress of VNQ, but they will not stop it because the bottom is in. ... Always stand directly in the path of the money flow from Bernanke&Co, buying the things they are going to inflate next. Just don't be too late to the game, grab those big and small bubbles when they are in the formative stage, and don't become a hog holding VNQ past $100.

What do you think about Vanguard REIT, or any other ETF for that matter? If you want to retire rich, you need to put together the best portfolio you can. Owning exceptional ETFs is a surefire way to secure your financial future, and on Motley Fool CAPS, thousands of investors are working every day to find them. CAPS is 100% free, so get started!

Interested in another easy way to track theVanguard REIT?Add it to your watchlist.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.

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