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Lifecycle/Target Date ETFs
(click on symbol for data and articles)

TDAX Independence 2010 ETF (NYSEARCA:TDD)
TDAX Independence 2020 ETF (NYSEARCA:TDH)
TDAX Independence 2030 ETF (NYSEARCA:TDN)
TDAX Independence 2040 ETF (NYSEARCA:TDV)
TDAX Independence In-Target ETF (NYSEARCA:TDX)
iShares S&P Target Date Retirement Income Index Fund (NYSEARCA:TGR)
iShares S&P Target Date 2010 Index Fund (NYSEARCA:TZD)
iShares S&P Target Date 2015 Index Fund (NYSEARCA:TZE)
iShares S&P Target Date 2020 Index Fund (NYSEARCA:TZG)
iShares S&P Target Date 2025 Index Fund (NYSEARCA:TZI)
iShares S&P Target Date 2030 Index Fund (NYSEARCA:TZL)
iShares S&P Target Date 2035 Index Fund (NYSEARCA:TZO)
iShares S&P Target Date 2040 Index Fund (NYSEARCA:TZV)

What Are They?

    The funds track Zacks Lifecycle Indexes, through a combination of equity and bond holdings. As the target date approaches, the funds scale back risk by selling stocks and buying income-producing bonds.

Why & How To Use Them

  • XShares/Amerivest introduced Lifecycle ETFs, which are popular as mutual funds, with an eye towards the 401(k) retirement plan market. While saving for retirement is the main reason investors buy Lifecycle funds, the funds are designed for any savings goal with a targeted end date, including major life events such as buying a house or apartment or a child's college tuition.
  • The bulk of these funds are geared towards specific target dates in the future, while the 'In-Target' (TDX) and Retirement Income (TGR) ETFs are designed for investors who have already reached their target date and are primarily interested in income at this stage.

What to Look Out For

  • The expense ratio of 65 basis points is well above the typical expense ratio charged by run-of-the-mill index funds. It is also above those charged by several no load target date mutual funds such as Vanguard's, which carry an expense ratio of just 21 basis points annually.
  • Keep an eye on what stocks are held in that portion of the fund - do you want that particular exposure to equities?

Further Reading

This page is part of The Seeking Alpha ETF Selector which sorts ETFs by type, highlights how to use them and what to look out for, and provides links to articles that discuss key issues for investors.

Source: Lifecycle/Target Date ETFs