Real estate is typically classified as an alternative to more traditional investments such as stocks and bonds. Real estate investing involves the purchase, ownership, management, rental, or sale of real estate for profit. Real estate investments can be both income producing and non-incomeproducing. Although real estate can produce income like a bond and appreciate like a stock, this tangible asset has several unique characteristics as well as advantages and disadvantages relative to other investment alternatives. Benefits of including real estate in a portfolio includediversification, yield enhancement, risk reduction, tax management, and inflation hedging. Unlike traditional investments, investors in real estate have the ability to influence performance. Real estate has drawbacks in that it requires management, is costly and difficult to buy, sell, and operate,and sometimes has lower liquidity. Additionally, measuring the relative performance of real estate can be challenging. The purpose of this 14-chapter book is to provide an overview and synthesis of public real estate markets and investments in a global context. The book discusses the major types and the latest trends within public real estate markets and presents the results of research studies in a straightforwardmanner. It has three sections: (1) foundations of public real estate, (2) public debt markets and investments, and (3) public equity markets and investments. The book should be interest to various groups including academics, practitioners, investors, and students. Readers should gain a greaterappreciation of what is needed for success when investing in public real estate markets. For more information about private real estate, read Private Real Estate Markets and Investments.