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Which of these three is the better REIT?
Old 07-22-2012, 09:46 AM   #1
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Which of these three is the better REIT?

If you were to only keep one of these three, which would you choose and why?

CSRSX (Cohen Steers)
VGSIX (Vanguard REIT Fund)
VNQ (Vanguard REIT ETF)
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:48 AM   #2
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I like simple index funds so the VNQ ETF would be my choice outside of retirement accts. Personally I hold the admiral shares of the VGSLX Reit fund in my Roth. The fund is low expense and diversified within RE
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Old 07-22-2012, 11:26 AM   #3
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I do feel kind of excluded when people ask questions like this. I have not memorized ticker symbols, so I don't understand the question unless I want to go look them up. Plus, since the answer and discussion only uses the ticker symbols, I don't learn anything. If you already know the ticker symbol, how hard is it to put the names or descriptions of funds into the post?
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:21 PM   #4
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I have VNQ also (VG REIT ETF). I bought them in May of 2010 though when the market dipped a bit, so the price was good - dividends looked good too. I would hesitate to buy it now (unless I needed REIT allocation in my portfolio) since things (everything) looks kind of expensive right now. I am not a market timer, but I hate to go in full force when prices are high. (I do buy weekly some funds as part of automatic investment.)
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:27 PM   #5
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CSRSX (Cohen & Steers Realty Shares Fund) ER = 1.03% --> dump it
VGSIX (vanguards reit fund) and VNQ (the etf version) have ER = 0.24% and 0.1%
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by photoguy View Post
CSRSX (Cohen & Steers Realty Shares Fund) ER = 1.03% --> dump it
VGSIX (vanguards reit fund) and VNQ (the etf version) have ER = 0.24% and 0.1%
Agreed on Cohen, my sell order is in.

Looks like VGSIX and VNQ have essentially the same major holdings? I admit I don't fully understand why one would choose a managed fund with higher ER over an ETF with lower ER when they are both very similar in composition?
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by growing_older View Post
I do feel kind of excluded when people ask questions like this. I have not memorized ticker symbols, so I don't understand the question unless I want to go look them up. Plus, since the answer and discussion only uses the ticker symbols, I don't learn anything. If you already know the ticker symbol, how hard is it to put the names or descriptions of funds into the post?
Sorry, it's just so much easier to type the ticker sometimes. I rather enjoy looking up symbols when others use them, gives me an opportunity to see much more about it (Morningstar rating, performance, ER, etc.) than a name alone might provide.
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by foxfirev5 View Post
I like simple index funds so the VNQ ETF would be my choice outside of retirement accts. Personally I hold the admiral shares of the VGSLX Reit fund in my Roth. The fund is low expense and diversified within RE
Looked up VGSLX - nice fund. Thanks.
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:47 PM   #9
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I should add that these holdings are in an after-tax investment (non-401K) account.

My other holdings are Vanguard Wellesley (VWIAX) and Vanguard Wellington (VWENX).
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:53 PM   #10
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There was an interesting article comparing the ETF version of a fund to the fund itself and they found, in the case of PIMCO, that there were some big differences when you get past the marketing. This would probably account for the different expense ratios.

The full article is at:
ETFs That Imitate Mutual Funds Are Imperfect Copies - SmartMoney.com
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:06 PM   #11
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I have the Vanguard Index REIT fund. It is a small % of my assets at this time. I will increase it, perhaps up to 5% when and if I see a drop in price. But Low, Sell High....

[Editorial comment on]
I also agree with the need to name the funds and not just the ticker symbol. I find myself skipping questions with only ticker symbols, unless I recognize them. I also skip requests for information with a title such as "I need help with this". That is so unclear. Much better to write "Is the Blue Sky Pork Belly fund a good choice for my 87 yeard old grandmother?"
[Editorial comment off]
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LakeTravis View Post
Looks like VGSIX and VNQ have essentially the same major holdings? I admit I don't fully understand why one would choose a managed fund with higher ER over an ETF with lower ER when they are both very similar in composition?
VNQ is the ETF version of VGSIX, the Vanguard REIT Index Fund, so it should be no surprise they hold the same thing. VGSLX is the Admiral Shares version of the same fund; the ETF has the same expense ratio as the Admiral Shares.

More information available at the Vanguard web site.
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Old 07-22-2012, 03:24 PM   #13
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They are pretty close to each other in 10 year total returns.
11.40% annualized for CSRSX
10.34% annualized for VGSIX
VNQ doesn't have a 10 year record yet, but appears to follow VGSIX pretty closely.

I'd be happy with any of them, but I'd be tempted to reach for the extra 1% of CSRSX. That said, I'm in VNQ alone and won't be changing over.
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