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5-Star Stock Picks: 'Stability' in Commercial Real Estate (!)

Although he predicts commercial vacancy rates won't peak until 2011, Joe Rodriguez, portfolio manager of the 5-star rated AIM Select Real Estate Fund, said commercial real estate still offers investment opportunities.

Rodriguez' fund tends to look for companies with strong balance sheets and better-than-average growth prospects, he said. He particularly likes office and health care real estate, because the contractual obligations that come with these sectors' long leases offer stability during a tough economy, he said.

Office: "The government's been putting a lot of money into restoring the credibility of financial institutions, so we think New York City will start to see the benefit of that over the near term," Rodriguez said.

Health care: "Health care is somewhat agnostic to the overall economy," he said. "If you still have slow growth in GDP, people still need the facilities provided by their medical doctors."

Rodriguez Likes:

Simon Property Group

Digital Realty Trust

SL Green Realty

REIT Preferred: PSA Series

CMBS: AAA Super Senior

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Disclosure information was not available for Rodriguez or his company.