Real estate investment trusts have performed well thus far in 2016, despite the increasingly hawkish tone of the Federal Reserve. The iShares U.S. Real Estate ETF (IYR) - Get Report ) is up 4.3% for the year to date, outperforming the S&P 500 by over a percentage point.
Steve Brown, portfolio manager for the American Century Real Estate Fund (REACX) - Get Report , said REITs will continue to perform well, even after the Fed finally raises interest rates.
"Generally speaking, in the U.S. demand is greater than supply for most property sectors," said Brown.
The American Century Real Estate Fund is up 5% thus far in 2016, according to Morningstar. The $1.5 billion fund has returned an average of 10.2% annually over the past five years, outpacing 86% of its rivals in Morningstar's real estate category. The fund sports a trailing twelve month yield of 2.4%, according to Morningstar.
Brown is bullish on Equinix (EQIX) - Get Report , which has already seen its shares jump 21% so far in 2016. He said the data center REIT is capitalizing on large tech players moving to the cloud.
"They own the infrastructure so companies like Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report , [Alphabet] (GOOGL) - Get Report and Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report are using their system for their e-commerce and cloud computing needs," said Brown. "Their growth is very strong, better than the economy in general."
Vereit (VER) - Get Report is another one of Brown's top picks. Vereit, up over 22% so far in 2016, specializes in commercial properties including retail. Brown called Vereit a turnaround story and praised the company's new management for reducing leverage and cleaning up its portfolio.
"They still remain very diversified and they are close to an investment grade credit rating which is very important for a net lease company," said Brown.
Finally, Brown is a fan of Prologis (PLD) - Get Report , up 11% year to date, primarily due to its position as an enabler of e-commerce. Prologis owns warehouses used by the likes of Amazon.com.
"While retail sales are relatively flat, e-commerce is growing at 10% a year and their logistics warehouses are a prime beneficiary of the growth of e-commerce," said Brown.