In the latest issue, we announced a new recommendation—Alpine Realty Income and Growth—for the real estate component in our Optional Inflation Hedges portfolio. While that fund is available at our three recommended brokers, each has have different rules with respect to the initial minimum investment.

At Scottrade, the fund is available with a minimum investment of $1,000.

At Fidelity, their site says the minimum is $1,000,000, but only $2,500 for IRA and even less for certain retirement accounts: "Initial minimum investments into group retirement accounts such as Fidelity Simplified Employee Pension-IRA, Keogh, Self-Employed 401(k), and Non-Fidelity Prototype Retirement accounts are $500 or higher."

At Schwab, the fund is available with a minimum of $1,000,000 with no exceptions shown on their website.

I assume there may also be varying policies at brokers other than these three. So, depending on your broker, investing in the Alpine fund may not be possible.

In that case, the back-up recommendation is SSgA Clarion Real Estate Fund N Class (SSREX). It is available NTF at most brokers (although closed at Fidelity, which shows how each broker marches to its own drummer and can make it difficult to offer a recommendation that covers everyone's needs).

We will continue to track SSREX and announce when it drops below our cutoff and should be replaced.

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