Many investors are more interested in avoiding losses than reaping gains. Dividends from REITs can help protect portfolios from downside risk.

Investors often overlook investment-grade, income-producing real estate, instead limiting portfolio allocations to stocks, bonds and cash. But a well-diversified portfolio that includes North American equity REITs can increase long-term, risk-adjusted returns - especially in periods of high market volatility or sharp downturns.

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