As its fourth fund, Houston-based Commonwealth International Series Trust added a real estate fund earlier this year in order to take advantage of a recently red-hot sector.

The Commonwealth Real Estate Securities Fund will invest in vehicles that are convertible into common stock and debt securities of companies impacted by the real estate market, including investment trusts and real estate management companies, as well as more loosely related firms, such as building supply companies.

A company is considered a real estate company if it derives half its revenues from real estate activities. Robert W. Scharar, the president of the fund’s investment adviser, FCA Corp., said the success of the real estate industry amid a tumultuous time for the market made the new fund introduction an easy choice. "The REIT marketplace has been a bright side in the midst of bleakness in the investment marketplace and we are still in the very early stages," said Scharar.

He added, "Our past management experience in this industry provides invaluable insight and expertise into this market."

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