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Wisdomtree Launches Balanced Income ETF

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Wisdomtree launched a new fund in late December focused on providing exposure to income generating equity and fixed income ETFs.

WisdomTree Balanced Income Fund WBAL seeks to track the yield and performance, before fees and expenses, of the WisdomTree Balanced Income Index. The index is designed to provide exposure to global equities and bonds through ETFs, with approximately 60% equity and 40% fixed income. The index is reconstituted and rebalanced annually. However, if there is more than 2% deviation from the target the index might be rebalanced quarterly.

Fund Characteristics

This fund seeks to provide global exposure through a 60-40% split between equities and fixed income. Within a few days of trades, the fund has generated an asset base of $2.5 million. The fund is a moderately cheap bet, as it charges a fee of 35 basis points a year and is thus an attractive way to gain exposure to a balanced portfolio strategy.

From an individual holding perspective, WisdomTree High Dividend Fund, WisdomTree Barclays Yield Enhanced US Aggregate Bond Fund and WisdomTree International High Dividend Fund are the top three allocations of the fund, with 20.0%, 19.8% and 12.8% exposure, respectively (as of Jan 2, 2018).

How Does it Fit in a Portfolio?

This ETF is a unique offering, as it gives investors a broad global exposure to markets using both equity and fixed-income ETFs. Moreover, it also tries to focus on income-producing assets to assure a consistent return for the portfolio.

As a result, this ETF is a good way to diversify investors’ portfolio by giving a broad exposure to global markets across asset classes. However, investors should note that this fund is also exposed to emerging market investments. A steady appetite for risk is required to invest in emerging market investments.

Competition

It faces immense competition from other funds focused on providing exposure to the same space. Below we discuss a few ETFs that seek to provide exposure to this corner (see all Total Portfolio ETFs here).

PowerShares CEF Income Composite Portfolio PCEF

This ETF is another such multi-asset option to play the balanced income space.

It has AUM of $781.8 million and charges a fee of 202 basis points a year. From an asset class perspective, Bonds, Option Income and High Yield Bonds are the three allocations of the fund, with 36.7%, 32.9% and 30.4% exposure, respectively (as of Dec 29, 2017). From an individual holding perspective, Eaton Vance Tax-Managed Global Diversified Equity Income Fund EXG, BlackRock Enhanced Equity Dividend Trust BDJ and Eaton Vance Limited Duration Income Fund EVV are the top three allocations of the fund, with 3.0%, 2.6% and 2.4% exposure, respectively (as of Dec 29, 2017). The fund has returned 14.9% in a year and has a dividend yield of 7.0%.

iShares Morningstar Multi-Asset Income Index ETF IYLD

This fund is another investment vehicle designed as an ETF of ETFs which provides multi-asset class exposure to high-yield securities.

It has AUM of $341.5 million and is a relatively expensive bet as it charges a fee of 59 basis points a year. From a sector look, Diversified Financials, Banks and Energy are the top three allocations of the fund, with 21.6%, 10.5% and 7.2% exposure, respectively (as of Dec 29, 2017). From an individual holding perspective, IShares Iboxx High Yield Corporate Bond ETF HYG, IShares JPMorgan USD Emerging Market Bond ETF EMB and IShares MBS ETF MBB are the top three allocations of the fund, with 19.7%, 14.9% and 14.9% exposure, respectively (as of Dec 29, 2017). The fund has returned 10.8% in a year and has a dividend yield of 4.5%.

YieldShares High Income ETF YYY

This fund seeks to provide multi-asset class exposure to high-yield securities, delivering a balanced portfolio strategy capable of generating a high income for investors.

This fund has AUM of $221.7 million and charges a fee of 172 basis points a year. From an asset class perspective, Bonds and Equity are the top allocations of the fund, with 74.0% and 26% exposure, respectively (as of Jan 2, 2018). From an individual holding perspective, Alpine Total Dynamic Dividend Fund AOD, Eaton Vance Tax-Advantaged Global Dividend Income Fund ETG and Liberty All-Star Equity Fund USA are the top three allocations of the fund, with 4.9%, 4.8%, and 4.8% exposure, respectively (as of Jan 2, 2017). The fund has returned 13.7% in a year and has a dividend yield of 7.9%.