Investors seeking an easy way to fill out a fixed-income portfolio may start off with an aggregate or total bond market exchange traded fund that provides diversified exposure to U.S. government and corporate debt securities.
For instance, the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index has been the go-to benchmark for many fixed-income investors. The benchmark tracks U.S. investment-grade corporate bonds, mortgage-backed securities and U.S. Treasuries. However, potential investors should note that the index excludes municipal bonds, Treasury inflation-protected securities and high-yield debt.
However, traditional core bond ETFs often sport low yields due to high allocations to Treasuries and MBS. The WisdomTree Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Enhanced Yield Fund (NYSEArca: AGGY) can help investors maintain core fixed income exposure while bolstering yield.
AGGY “attempts to boost return by reweighting the components of the Aggregate Index. But this additional yield is not free. It comes with greater credit risk and often slightly greater interest-rate risk. This trait, coupled with the fund’s short record, limits the strategy to a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Bronze,” according to Morningstar.
The $336.3 million AGGY, which debuted in July 2015, uses a “rules-based approach re-weights the subcomponents of the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index to enhance yield, while broadly maintaining familiar risk characteristics,” according to WisdomTree.