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ANSWER: D. All of the above.

Many investors inadvertently own real estate. Broad-themed mutual funds typically allocate a portion of their holdings to real estate. They own it directly, too, sometimes in the form of an exchange-traded fund. You can buy stock in home builders or REITs. You also can buy investment properties for income, and in some cases you can carry these properties within an IRA.

Some argue that owning a primary home makes the average investor "overweight" in real estate, so portfolio allocations to real estate need not comprise a large percentage of holdings.

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