Asked on 08 May 2019
Understand that Autowealth aims to diversify the allocation and remain discipline. However, there are similar ETFs provided by iShare.
I will use iShare Core Moderate Allocation ETF (AOM) to illustrate.
AOM holds and uses IUSD, IVV, IDEV, IAGG and IEMG, each of them a Blackrock iShare ETF. AutoWealth for one uses Vanguard ETFs for stocks allocation because we believe Vanguard ETFs represent the best solution for stock allocation (vis-a-vis Blackrock iShares and many other ETF providers).
Note also that AOM uses IUSD which is not entirely a government bond ETF (only 33%). At AutoWealth, we believe government bond offers the best protection for you especially in a bad market crisis and we therefore allocate 100% of our bond allocation to government bonds.
Therefore from a selection perspective, we are able to build the best portfolio using the best ETFs for you. Whereas iShares obviously uses their own products which may not always be the best in class.
AOM portfolio construction for stocks is Developed vs International vs Emerging Markets. This restricts the ability to effectively rebalance against major geographical regions like U.S., Europe, Asia Pacific and Emerging Markets. For example, U.S. and Europe both belong to Developed Markets but the two have a very different market movement from time to time. Europe experienced Euro Debt Crisis and Brexit (independent of U,S.) whist U.S. experienced trade war with China (independent of Europe) and their market movements are divergent from time to time.
At AutoWealth, we intelligently hold one ETF each for each of the various geographical regions. This allows us to sell and take profit on particular regions and buy particular regions whilst they are at a discount. Portfolio rebalancing is carried out primarily to maintain a consistent risk profile and manage risk. But the secondary effect is that we take advantage of excessive market volatility to generate extra returns for you.
AOM expense ratio is 0.25% and its top 5 holdings are IUSD, IVV, IDEV, IAGG and IEMG. Each of these are ETFs with another layer of own fees. So they are not really as cost efficient as you think.