Why, despite the misgivings listed in last week's blog, does Lars invest 20% of the trust in the Vanguard index REIT? First, he likes real estate, feels it's somehow a special investment. It's kind of the old "they aren't making any more of it" thing. They don't call it real (estate) for no reason.
OK, so that's pretty subjective: what else? The REIT he's chosen is both diversifying and diversified. That is, in a portfolio of mostly stocks and bonds, real estate acts a little differently. This is good. When stocks are down, REITs might not be. And the Vanguard fund is itself spread into all kinds of real estate, so he's not betting everything on just shopping centers, or apartments.