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Mutual Fund Commentary

Even though real estate has been through tough times recently, securities from this sector should continue to be an integral part of portfolios with a long term horizon. Over the years, mutual funds from this category have continued to perform favorably. They offer a convenient method to invest in real estate because of low initial investment requirements and the advantage of professional management. Investors willing to hold long term positions would do well to consider these funds as they add stability and bring steady returns to a portfolio.

Below we will share with you 5 top rated real estate mutual funds. Each has earned a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) as we expect these mutual funds to outperform their peers in the future. To view the Zacks Rank and past performance of all real estate funds, investors can click here to see the complete list of funds.

Fidelity International Real Estate (FIREX - MF report) invests most of its assets in foreign securities of companies involved in real estate industry and investment. This non-diversified fund makes investments using fundamental analysis. The real-estate mutual fund returned 40.58% over the last one year period.

Guillermo de las Casas is the Fund Manager and he has been managing this real estate mutual fund since 2010.

ING International Real Estate A (IIRAX - MF report) seeks high total return. The fund invests a large share of its assets in firms whose principal operations are related to the real estate sector. A major portion of the investment is made in companies located in foreign countries. The real-estate mutual fund is non-diversified and has returned 34.68% over the last one year period.

The real estate mutual fund has an expense ratio of 1.50% compared to a category average of 1.45%.

JPMorgan International Realty A (JIRAX - MF report) invests the majority of its assets in REITs and real estate companies. The fund may also focus on REITs with small market caps. A maximum of 20% is invested in debt securities which are denominated in foreign currency. The real-estate mutual fund returned 33.03% over the last one year period.

Jason Ko is the fund manager and he has managed this real estate mutual fund since 2011.

Cohen & Steers International Realty A (IRFAX - MF report) seeks total return. The fund invests a large share of its assets in securities of foreign companies whose principal operations are related to the real estate sector. A small portion is also invested in domestic companies with interests in the real estate sector. The real-estate mutual fund returned 31.59% over the last one year period.

As of April 2013, this real estate mutual fund held 80 issues, with 6.76% of its total assets invested in Mitsubishi Estate.

Invesco Global Real Estate A (AGREX - MF report) invests in equity and debt securities of companies which operate in the real estate sector. A maximum of 30% of its assets in utilized to purchase securities rated below investment grade. The real-estate mutual fund returned 25.01% over the last one year period.

The real estate mutual fund has an expense ratio of 1.51% compared to a category average of 1.45%.

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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