Even as some buyers remain cautious of the real estate market, several best-performing REIT funds posted solid returns over the past five years. While a few REITs bested the S&P 500 in that period, most advisors and their clients would have fared better in broader index funds. 

Clients who are interested in investing in real estate, but don’t want the risk, hassle and illiquidity associated with direct property ownership, may lean toward REIT funds as a starting point, according to a Financial Planning special report. As investors find their way back into the real estate market, here's a look at the top REIT funds.

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