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Acting Your Age With ETFs


Those afflicted with the bug of immaturity are often told to act their age. It is sound advice for investors an at least one exchange traded funds strategist can help investors accomplish that objective.

Atlanta-based Wela Strategies is the purveyor of the Own Your Age (OYA) strategy that offers investors age-appropriate portfolios comprised of low-cost equity and fixed income ETFs.

“The basic premise is younger investors are able to incur elevated risk that justify a larger exposure to equities while investors nearing retirement are more conservative and desire portfolios composed of income producing, fixed income securities. However, the committee typically makes semi-annual asset allocation changes within portfolios. The ETFs tend to be consistent, but the composition may shift based on quantitative research with a qualitative overlay. As example of such a shift would be reallocations between domestic and international equities or short-term and long-term bonds,” according to a new research note by S&P Capital IQ.

Younger investors in Wela’s OYA strategy could see ETFs such as the iShares Core S&P 500 ETF(IVV) and the iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF (IJR) . Both ETFs are part of the iShares core suite of ETFs introduced by the world’s largest ETF issuer in 2012 aimed at cost-conscious investors. IVV and IJR, both of which rated overweight by S&P Capital IQ, charge just 0.07% and 0.17% per year, respectively. [Evaluating Core ETF Investment Options]

According to S&P Capital IQ, last month Wela boosted OYA portfolio exposure to international ETFs, the result of profit-taking in U.S.-focused ETFs. One of Wela’s global holdings is the iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (EFA) , the second-largest ETF by assets. S&P Capital IQ rates EFA overweight, though investors can access a less expensive equivalent iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF (IEFA) . [ETF Strategists Offer up Unique Ideas]

The growth portion of a Wela OYA portfolio also includes the Vanguard REIT ETF (VNQ) . Buoyed by declining Treasury yields, the overweight-rated VNQ is up more than 8% this year.

Following last year’s surge in Treasury yields, Wela turned bullish on U.S. bonds early this year, increasing exposure to the Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND) , which is part of the OYA 50 portfolio, according to S&P Capital IQ.

OYA 50 also includes allocations to the Vanguard Short-Term Bond ETF (BSV) and the iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF (IEF) . Along with BND, BSV and IEF are rated overweight by S&P Capital IQ. BND and BSV each charge just 0.1% per year, making those ETFs 89% and 88% cheaper than rival funds, according to Vanguard data. [ETF Underdogs Rise Again]

iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF

Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of EFA.