Photo Credit: Wallace, Ian What should investors be looking for in a smart investment between now and July 2013? Confidence in real estate and investment in general may be on the rise, but there is no doubt that this has made everyone a lot more cautious about where, what and how their money is being invested and rightly so. So what are the best investment moves of the moment and what should individual investors be on the lookout for? With all of the turmoil going on around the globe, Canada continues to shine as the place to invest compared to Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the U.S., which all still face major issues and uncertainty. It is true that there may be a few, but rapidly shrinking number of exotic off the grid destinations being punted to hungry and desperate investors that may promise' high returns. However, none can seriously be considered to offer the same great combination of safety, stability, yields and overall returns as Canada. This is especially true with a big surge in Canadian commercial real estate investment expected in the second half of year which will build in great wealth, protection and profit for those moving in during the second quarter of 2013. Experts predict this new windfall of commercial real estate will activity benefit most major cities in Canada, even those with softening residential markets like Vancouver and Toronto. Although, to be truly safe and for better returns and longer term profitability, common sense clearly recommends to cut through the media hype and some overly optimistic or biased forecasts and look to Alberta instead. Specifically this means that the focus should be on Edmonton, AB. Edmonton has been quietly and rapidly gaining in popularity within the advanced real estate investment circle and it is expected to outperform the more well-known Calgary on many fronts over the next several years. All commercial real estate sectors in Alberta and Edmonton may be looking rosier including industrial, office and multifamily apartment buildings. Yet, due to a variety of macro global and national trends retail continues to stand out as the preferred investment property type of the savviest accredited investors. Retail isn't just an intelligent choice because of the value it can offer serious investors or thanks to the great performance it has been delivering lately. It is considered the first to benefit when things look up, the last to get hit when things go down and profits from all of the other activity going on in the market right now from consumer spending to population growth and commercial development. Of course the specific vehicle and strategy employed also makes a big difference in net returns as well, so look for tax advantages, shared risk, diversity and expert management. Competition is heating up, but there are excellent investment opportunities already available with cash flowing and with great management ready to assist investors in maximizing growth and returns. The only question is whether you will move in fast enough to benefit from the best growth.