Investing in real estate is not as simple as investing in publicly traded stocks, where the best solution is to buy them through a broadly-diversified, low-cost index fund. There are many good ways to invest in real estate and these range from publicly traded REITs such as the Vanguard REIT Index Fund (least hassle but highest correlation with the stock market) to owning and managing the property down the street yourself (most potential to add value and save on taxes but the greatest hassle.) There are other ways to invest in real estate that fall in between these options, including private real estate funds and crowdfunded/syndicated investments.