ETF Trends
ETF Trends

BlackRock (NYSE: BLK) said Monday that its iShares unit, the world’s largest issuer of exchange traded funds, added four ETFs to its core lineup of funds aimed at cost-conscious buy-and-hold investors.

The new additions to the iShares core suite are previously existing ETFs, each of which came to market in 2008 that have been renamed and altered to become “ETFs of ETFs” that hold other iShares ETFs, including core funds.

For example, the iShares Core Conservative Allocation ETF (NYSEArca: AOK) has added core to its name and now counts the iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (NYSEArca: AGG) and the iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: IVV) among its top holdings.

The iShares Core Moderate Allocation Fund (NYSEArca: AOM) is another new addition to the iShares core suite. AOM’s top holdings also include AGG and IVV along with the iShares MSCI EAFE Index (NYSEArca: EFA) and the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (NYSEArca: HYG). [ETFs for Core Bond Exposure]

The iShares Core Growth Allocation ETF (NYSEArca: AOR) holds 10 other iShares ETFS, including IVV, AGG, EFA and the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: EEM).

The iShares Core Aggressive Allocation ETF (NYSEArca: AOA), an ETF that looks to mitigate risk by avoiding heavy asset class and sector concentrations, also holds stakes in IVV, EFA, AGG and EEM, among other iShares ETFs. [One-Stop ETF for Aggressive Investors]

The four ETFs track a revised S&P Target Risk Index Series benchmark that will rebalance on an annual basis. All ticker symbols will remain the same and net expense ratios for iShares Core Allocation ETFs will range from 23 to 25 basis points, according to a statement issued by BlackRock. The four core additions have a combined $1.62 billion in assets under management.

When iShares rolled out its 10-ETF suite of core funds in October 2012, the intent appeared to be to give retail investors some low-cost options from the iShares stable. However, there has been wide institutional adoption of the funds, as highlighted by asset growth for some of the original core ETFs. For example, the iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: IEMG)now has over $6.1 billion in assets while the iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF (NYSEArca: IEFA) is now a $3.4 billion fund. [Core ETFs Gain Institutional Support]

With the addition of AOK, AOM, AOA and AOR to its core lineup, iShares now has 24 ETFs in that group.

Prior to Monday, the most recent addition to the iShares core suite occurred in June 2014 when the firm added 10 ETFs, including four new funds.

iShares Core Conservative Allocation ETF

ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this post. Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of EEM, EFA and IVV.

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.