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Get in on Bill Gross’ Second Act With This ETF


Bill Gross has commenced work at Janus Capital (JNS) where the former PIMCO chief investment officer will manage a recently launched Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund and related strategies.

However, cost-conscious investors that worship at Gross’ altar do not need to run to that mutual fund. They may not want to because its “A share class has an expense ratio of 1.08 percent and a front-end load of 4.75 percent,” reports Eric Balchunas for Bloomberg.

Additionally, there are plenty of exchange traded funds with much lower fees that can help investors replicate some of Gross’ favored strategies. Investors looking to maintain mortgage-backed securities exposure via ETFs can opt for the dirt-cheap Vanguard Mortgage-Backed Securities Index ETF (VMBS) . International offerings that can be used for one’s “inner Bill Gross” include the Vanguard Total International Bond ETF (BNDX) and the PowerShares Emerging Markets Sovereign Debt Portfolio (PCY) .

Speaking of international offerings that Gross himself might like, the actively managed WisdomTree Emerging Markets Local Debt Fund (ELD) comes to mind. Remember that Gross has previously spoken favorably of Brazilian and Mexican debt, reiterating that view to some degree in the most recent issue of Barron’s.

Among emerging markets bond ETFs, EMLC has the “highest weighting to Mexico, at 11.2 percent of assets. It is actively managed and designed to track investment-grade emerging markets debt in local currencies,” reports Balchunas.

ELD also features a 10.6% weight to Brazil, which is noteworthy because of the emergence of Aecio Neves as a credible threat to topple President Dilma Rousseff in Brazil’s Oct. presidential runoff. A Neves victory would likely spark a rally in the Brazilian real, which would be a boon for the local currency-denominated ELD. [Neves Lifts Brazil ETFs]

Over 84% of ELD’s holdings are rated AA, A or BBB. ELD, which has an effective duration of 5.1 years and a 30-day SEC yield of 5.29%, was the first actively managed ETF in the U.S. to top $1 billion in assets under management and once the largest actively managed ETF prior to the debut of the PIMCO Total Return ETF (NYSEArca: BOND ), which Gross previously managed.

ELD charges 0.55% per year. Another idea to consider is the Market Vectors Emerging Markets Aggregate Bond ETF (EMAG) . That passively managed ETF, which previously focused exclusively on Latin American debt, devotes 21.2% of its combined weight to Brazil and Mexico. EMAG ‘s holdings are nearly evenly split between dollar-denominated and local currencies. The fund charges 0.5% per year and has a modified duration of 4.96 years. [Market Vectors Changes LatAm Bond ETF]

WisdomTree Emerging Markets Local Debt Fund