ETF Trends
ETF Trends

The Cambria Global Asset Allocation ETF (NYSEArca: GAA) was hailed as a game-changing when it debuted last month because it does not charge investors an annual fee.

Rather, investors pay total fund operating expenses of 0.29%, which works out to be the average expense ratio on the 29 ETFs held by the new Cambria fund. At 0.29%, GAA is still attractively priced and as an actively managed ETF, GAA is downright cheap compared to rival actively managed products. [A Fee Free ETF]

While GAA is free of the traditional fee ETF investors have become accustomed to, that does not mean the new fund is risk-free. The good news is GAA’s overall risk profile is favorable.

GAA “sports a potential upside that is 2x the potential downside, a healthy 2.7% dividend yield, a very low cost (“acquired fund fees and expenses” for the underlying ETFs) and a Risk Number that is far lower than a typical 60/40 (stock/bond) portfolio,” according to Riskalyze.

Chart Courtesy: Riskalyze

GAA is comprised of other underlying ETFs and seeks to replicate a true global market portfolio, investing in a basket of U.S. and foreign equities, bonds, real estate, commodities, and currencies, according to the statement. The 29 ETFs held by GAA, which are mostly Vanguard and iShares funds, give investors exposure to over 20,000 individual securities, according to Cambria. http://www.cambriafunds.com/gaa/

GAA’s top 10 holdings include the Vanguard Total International Bond ETF (NYSEArca: BNDX), Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (NYSEArca: BND), Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (NYSEArca: VTI), Market Vectors Emerging Markets Local Currency Bond ETF (NYSEArca: EMLC) and the Market Vectors Emerging Markets High Yield Bond ETF (NYSEArca: HYEM).

GAA also holds stakes in three of Cambria’s other four ETFs, which of course helps the firm make money in lieu of a traditional expense ratio. However, while that strategy has garnered some criticism, it should be noted that the Cambria Global Value ETF (NYSEArca: GVAL), Cambria Shareholder Yield ETF (NYSEArca: SYLD) and the Cambria Foreign Shareholder Yield ETF (NYSEArca: FYLD) combine for just 8.4% of GAA’s weight.