We were sitting at home last night chatting and my wife remarked that her ING mutual fund were doing well, getting nearly 13% gain in one month. Well, thirteen percent in one month is obviously very good performance so we decided to investigate a bit further.
It turns out that she bought shares in IDROX, which is ING’s in house real estate fund. Based on our quick review of IDROX’s holdings, a lot of the funds growth has been driven by two companies.
One of these is the Simon Property Group Inc (SPG). Simon Properties is a real estate investment trust. Most of Simon’s business appears to be developing shopping malls in the US and Puerto Rico. It’s net income has seen good growth and it currently sports a dividend yield of 2.8%. According to yahoo, SPG’s share price has grown by 13 percent in the last year.
The second stock driving IDROX was Avalon Bay Communities Inc (AVB). Avalon Bay is also a REIT, but they build apartment buildings in high-barrier-to-entry communities (e.g. wealthy neighborhoods). My cursory review of AVB’s financials showed that its income, balance sheet and cash flow are all positive for the past three years. AVB also pays out 2.3% in dividends per year.
The main point here is selecting stocks can be a tricky endeavour. A good way to get ideas for investment prospects can be to look at mutual funds that are performing well. Once you’ve got the fund, you can just borrow their ideas, like we did here. This might help take some of the uncertainty out of picking which stocks to buy!