Schwab launches global real estate fund (US)

Charles Schwab Investment Management (CSIM), the asset management affiliate of Charles Schwab and Co., Inc., has launched its first proprietary real estate securities fund. The Schwab Global Real Estate Fund™ specializes in commercial properties worldwide, providing exposure to the expanding global investment sector.

"Schwab's new Global Real Estate Fund is one of only a handful of real estate funds available to individual investors that invest in commercial securities on a worldwide basis," said Evelyn Dilsaver, president and CEO of Charles Schwab Investment Management. "Besides providing an efficient way for investors to gain exposure to the growing market in domestic and international real estate securities, REITs are structured to deliver ongoing income streams, which should appeal to those looking to create income in their portfolios."

The fund's managers will invest primarily in securities of domestic and international commercial real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other similar REIT-like structures, as well as real estate operating companies (REOCs). They will select investments based on the proprietary global database and research model developed by Global Real Analytics (GRA), a leader in applied real estate analytics and commercial real estate index products for more than 25 years. GRA was acquired by CSIM in January of this year. Fund managers will conduct additional research to identify specific markets and underlying securities they believe are likely to exhibit the strongest potential for long-term price appreciation and dividend income. The fund will not invest directly in individual real estate properties.

"The opportunity to invest in the global real estate market is growing as more countries adopt a U.S. REIT-like structure," said James Sempere, CSIM's managing director of real estate investments and research. "This fund is designed to give investors access to the best part of that expanding market."

The new fund will be in subscription until May 30, 2007 and will begin trading on May 31, 2007. Two share classes will be offered:

  • The Investor share class (SWAIX) with an expense ratio of 1.20%; and
  • Select Shares® (SWASX) with an expense ratio of 1.05% and minimum investment of $50,000.

Source: CSIM

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