It seems that if you believe some real estate exposure is good, this ETF beats just about every alternative. It's diversified, cheap, and it's a slow grower, delivering better than a bond fund. You could buy a real estate mutual fund like Ken Heebner's and maybe score a bonanza--or have your head handed to you. And either way at a price. But I'm inclined to take my 20% profit in Vanguard's ETF and look at something more exciting. It's slowing down of late, and we appear to be a long long way from any real recovery. I had a big real estate fund that was up every single month for 20 years; now it's been down for 20 consecutive months. If that sucker stops its slide (TIAA real estate), that'll be a signal to return to Vanguard's real estate ETF.