Bill Gross Touts PIMCO Total Return ETF's Active Approach

Includes: AGG, BND, BOND
by: Tom Lydon

PIMCO's Bill Gross is calling out rival passively indexed bond exchange traded funds that have a heavy allocation in low-yield Treasuries.

At a recent IndexUniverse conference, Gross boldly told financial advisors to swap out their Vanguard and iShares bond ETFs for the PIMCO Total Return ETF (NYSEARCA:BOND), reports Chris Flood for Financial Times.

"If you have clients in [Vanguard's] BND or [iShares] AGG, get them over [to BOND]," Gross said in the article.

Gross was referring to the Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (NYSEARCA:BND), which has a 0.10% expense ratio and a 1.71% 30-day SEC yield, and the iShares Barclyas Aggregate Bond Fund (NYSEARCA:AGG), which has a 0.20% expense ratio and a 1.60% 30-day SEC yield.

The BOND ETF has a 0.55% expense ratio and a 2.05% 30-day SEC yield.

BOND has accumulated $2.7 billion since its March launch, and it has gotten attention as the ETF version outperformed the original flagship fund.

In comparison, the Vanguard and iShares broad bond offerings hold $17.6 billion and $15.5 billion, respectively.

Gross argued that the competition is too heavily invested in low-yield Treasuries. For instance, BND has 44.0% allocated to Treasury/Agency bonds and AGG has 36.2% in Treasuries. In contrast, BOND has 6% in Treasuries.

"I don't care about the fees. Just bring them over because you'll be helping them out. I can't guarantee it … but I think it's a pretty good bet," Gross said in the FT story.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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