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Multiple Asset Classes With One ETF


Over the past several years, exchange traded funds issuers have been introducing more and more ETFs of ETFs, or those funds that hold other ETFs.

One of the of the most established members of this ETF genre is the SPDR SSGA Global Allocation ETF (GAL), which is now three and a half years old with $172.5 million in assets under management. The fund invests in other ETFs – most managed by State Street — to build a global diversified portfolio comprised of equities, bonds, preferred shares, TIPS and real estate. [Don’t Forget About These Multi-Asset ETFs]

GAL is actively managed. The fund benchmarks its performance against the MSCI ACWI IMI Index, a free float-adjusted market capitalization-weighted index that is designed to measure the combined equity market performance of developed and emerging markets. The index covers approximately 98% of the global equity investment opportunity set.

GAL and other multi-asset ETFs are getting a second look from investors as balanced mutual funds enjoy a renaissance.

GAL is not comprised solely of State Street ETFs. For example, the fund allocates a combined 18% of its weight to the WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (DXJ) and the WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity Fund (HEDJ) .

“Hence, what initially seemed like a simple fund of funds has so far proven itself to have an extraordinary amount of complexity. The international funds have over 4000 holdings in total, with capital distributed over 25 countries. It’s worth noting here that the average expense ratio of the international funds alone is 0.45% which is about the average ETF industry expense ratio. The average yield of the international funds is 1.805%,” according to a Seeking Alpha analysis of GAL.

GAL itself charges just 0.35% per year, an expense ratio that is on the low end for both actively managed and fund of funds strategies.

GAL’s other marquee holdings include the holdings include SPDR World ex-U.S. (GWL) and the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) .

“To sum it all up, a fund of funds is an incredibly useful investment vehicle particularly for those who know the importance of having an investment plan, but perhaps do not have the time or knowledge to construct a well-diversified portfolio from scratch, nor perhaps, employ a personal investment advisor,” adds the Seeking Alpha article.

SPDR SSGA Global Allocation ETF


Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of SPY.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.