Access Institutional Quality Management Through Multi-Asset ETFs

by: Tom Lydon

Institutions, investors and advisors all utilize exchange traded fund products. Now, some fund products are also adding exposure to other ETFs within their own portfolios to provide regular investors with exposure to institutional quality management.

The burgeoning sub-class of "ETF managed portfolios" are investment strategies that hold over 50% of portfolio assets invested in ETFs, as Morningstar defines.

ETF provider iShares expects that the ETF managed portfolios space could grow to $120 billion in assets by 2015, reports Will Ashworth for InvestorPlace. To put this in perspective, U.S.-listed ETFs held $1.14 billion in assets as of May 31.

ETF managed portfolios, though, may come with high expense ratios to cover the costs toward active management. Nevertheless, investors can look within the ETF universe to find a multi-asset fund product that could provide the same exposure.

For instance, investors interested in a diversified, multi-asset ETF may consider:

  • PowerShares RiverFront Tactical Growth & Income Portfolio (NYSEARCA:PCA). PCA tries to create a certain risk profile that weights about 50% of its assets in equities and 50% in fixed-income, which are rebalanced monthly. Currently, fixed-income assets make up 46.4% of the fund. The PowerShares Dividend Achievers Portfolio (NASDAQ:PFM) is the largest holding at 12.7%. PCA has an expense ratio of 0.71% and a 30-day SEC yield of 3.01%.
  • SPDR SSgA Income Allocation ETF (NYSEARCA:INKM) is an actively managed fund that covers 18 ETFs with an emphasis on generating income. SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (NYSEARCA:SDY) is the largest holding at 18.86%. Along with equities and fixed-income ETFs, INKM holds real estate through the SPDR Dow Jones International Real Estate ETF (NYSEARCA:RWX) and the SPDR Dow Jones REIT ETF (NYSEARCA:RWR). INKM has an expense ratio of 0.70% and a 30-day SEC yield of 4.18%.
  • iShares Morningstar Multi-Asset Income Index Fund (BATS:IYLD) holds 10 ETFs along with individual stocks, which make up about 15% of the portfolio. IYLD has a heavier emphasis on fixed-income at 60.5% and a small 4.87% component in real estate. IYLD has an expense ratio of 0.60% and a 30-day SEC yield of 4.68%.
  • Guggenheim Multi-Asset Income ETF (NYSEARCA:CVY) tracks U.S. stocks, American depositary receipts paying dividends, real estate investment trusts, MLPs, closed-end funds, Canadian royalty trusts and traditional preferred stocks. CVY has an expense ratio of 0.60% and a 30-day SEC yield of 5.52%.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

Disclosure: I am long CVY.

Additional disclosure: Tom Lydon's clients own CVY.