Many investors shudder at the thought of real estate, with the cratered U.S. housing market—down 35% from its peak—still generating headlines. And worries about a return to recession at home and the growing Eurozone debt crisis aren't allowing investors much comfort about other sectors, either. But experts say real estate, in the form of real estate investment trusts, could be the counterintuitive bright spot over the next year.

Indeed, REITs are one of the best games in town for income-hungry clients. During these dicey times they can provide a steady stream of dividends.

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