Real estate

Property is a physical asset, although it is becoming increasingly common to invest in it in a unitised form. The property that most pension schemes invest in is commercial property, such as offices, shopping centres and industrial warehouse sites.

Real estate has some features that make it different from other traditional pension fund investments. The fact that property is not commoditised means that it cannot be bought and sold quickly - a single transaction can be of a very high value and take months to complete.

Unlike equities where there is a ready market and prices of individual stocks are known, the value of a property has a degree of uncertainty about it. Its real value is only known when the property is sold.

Past performance is not a guide to future performance and may not be repeated. The value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amounts originally invested