While investors flee foreign equity markets, Franklin Templeton Investments offers an alternative, the Franklin Templeton Global Real Estate Fund.

The fund, which focuses on a sector that traditionally has low correlation with stocks and bonds, will target investors looking for diversification, liquidity, low volatility and the potential for high dividends.

"Until recently, most real estate investors have been largely focused on their domestic markets," said Jack Foster, who will co-manage the fund with Charles McKiney. "This new fund is designed to offer investors the opportunity for broader and more diversified exposure to the asset class by investing in real estate markets around the world."

The more tax-efficient REIT will capitalize on what Franklin Templeton calls "the last asset classes yet to be fully securitized on a global scale." A number of countries throughout the world - including Australia, Canada, France, Finland, Hong Kong, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa and Singapore-have investment vehicles resembling REITs, while both the United Kingdom passed legislation allowing for their creation earlier this year, and Germany is expected soon to do the same.

A recent survey by Ibbotson Associates showed that nearly half of the world's wealth is rooted in real estate, whereas only 27% is invested in bonds and 19% in equities.

(c) 2006 Money Management Executive and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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