The ETF Talks of the past few weeks have introduced you to some of the most prominent funds offered by Vanguard, a large and cost-effective exchange-traded fund (ETF) provider. Today, we continue that series with Vanguard Real Estate Investment Trust ETF (VNQ). With $43.1 billion in assets under management, VNQ is Vanguard’s fourth-largest ETF. Its competitive 0.1% expense ratio is 93% lower, according to Morningstar, than the average for similar funds.
This ETF, unlike the broader funds we have introduced so far, focuses on a particular sector. VNQ tracks an index that measures the performance of publicly traded equity real estate investment trusts (REITs). VNQ matches the holdings of the index as closely and as proportionately as possible.
VNQ is up 20.76% so far in 2014, as the chart below demonstrates, and it has fully recovered from a recent September stumble. The fund also offers investors a dividend yield of 3.51%.
As a REIT ETF, all of VNQ’s assets are invested in the real estate sector. VNQ’s top 10 holdings comprise 38.24% of its portfolio, a higher percentage than its more diversified counterparts. These top holdings include Simon Property Group, Inc. (SPG), 8.69%; Public Storage (PSA), 4.14%; Equity Residential (EQR), 3.59%; Health Care REIT, Inc. (HCN), 3.44%; and ProLogis, Inc. (PLD), 3.20%.
REITs are legally required to pay out 90% of their taxable income as dividends, so investors receive steady income no matter how the overall market performs. If this income-oriented investment sounds enticing to you, you may want to take a look at Vanguard REIT ETF (VNQ).
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In case you missed it, I encourage you to read my e-letter column from last week about Vanguard’s developed market ETF. I also invite you to comment in the space provided below.