In this research piece we provide an introduction to mortgage income and the strategic role that this exposure might play in portfolios. We start with a top-level overview of where the asset class fits within the spectrum of private real estate and debt. Then, we walk through the history of the asset class, the range and quality of real estate loans in which an institution might invest, and where mortgage income sits within that range. Next, we discuss how an investor might think about this asset class—specifically, is it risk-diversifying or risk-seeking? Next, we touch on the privately traded nature of mortgage income, and how, as with most private assets, appraisal-based pricing can partly mask risk. Lastly, we remind the reader that this is an actively managed space, and talk through how Verus navigates this asset class.