About the Editor
Ben Johnson, CFA, is director of global ETF research for Morningstar. Before assuming his current role in 2012, he was director of ETF research for Europe and Asia. He also previously served as a senior equity analyst, covering the agriculture and chemicals industries. Before joining Morningstar in 2006, he worked as a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley.

Johnson holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation. In 2015, Fund Directions and Fund Action named Johnson among the 2015 Rising Stars of Mutual Funds.


Investment Strategy
Morningstar ETFInvestor scans the globe for value and improving fundamentals across virtually all asset classes. Editor Ben Johnson draws upon academic and practitioner research — including Morningstar's sizeable bench of stock, bond and fund analysts — to find reliable drivers of outperformance.

Morningstar ETFInvestor features two real-money portfolios.

The ETF Income Portfolio assembles a high-quality collection of income-generating ETFs with the goal of earning 5% in excess of the 30-day T-bill rate over a full business cycle. The portfolio adheres to a benchmark-agnostic strategy in its search for absolute returns.

The ETF Global Asset Allocation Portfolio, on the other hand, is more benchmark sensitive. It seeks undervalued asset classes with improving fundamentals. The strategy seeks to beat the 60/40 MSCI ACWI/Barclays US Aggregate benchmark over a full business cycle, with the least risk possible.

 
 
Apr 29, 2016
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About Editor Editor's Photo
Ben Johnson, CFA,
Director, Global ETF Research and Editor
Ben Johnson, CFA, is director of global ETF research for Morningstar. Before assuming his current role in 2012, he was director of ETF research for Europe and Asia. He also previously served
Featured Posts
ETFInvestor Weekly Update - April 22, 2016

Malvern or Bust

I am travelling to Vanguard’s headquarters next week with a number of my colleagues for two days of deep dives with the firm’s leadership. I know many of you (most? all?) are Vanguard shareholders/owners, so I’d like to ask you to submit any questions you might pose to Vanguard’s higher ups if you had an audience with them. Drop me a note (ben.johnson@morningstar.com) and I will select a handful of your questions and do my best to get answers to them on your behalf. I’ll circle back next week with a short list of the questions I asked, a summary of the responses, and other general observations from our trip.

Best,

Ben

 



From Monringstar.com

John Rekenthaler asks: “How Much Do You Pay Each Year in Fees?” Apparently, most people underestimate just how much they are shelling out and a lack of dollars and cents disclosure is likely to blame.

Elsewhere…

In a recent blog post, Vanguard’s James Rowley discusses the difference between Dunn’s law and dispersion. The former seems to have far more explanatory power with respect to the ebb and flow of success rates amongst active managers than the latter. The second exhibit in his post is the best depiction of this relationship I’ve seen.


The Wall Street Journal’s Daisy Maxey tells the tale of the rise and fall of 12b-1 fees. (subscription required)

Portfolio Holdings
Income Portfolio
ETF
YTD Ret %
Price $
1.8
106.1
CASH$
N/A
1.0
5.5
51.3
3.4
67.1
1.2
18.3
0.6
27.5
3.5
39.9
-2.7
23.2
Global Asset Allocation Portfolio
ETF
YTD Ret %
Price $
1.8
106.1
CASH$
N/A
1.0
5.5
51.3
1.2
18.3
0.6
27.5
3.5
39.9
-0.2
36.6
3.9
80.8
-2.7
23.2
Most Popular ETFs
ETF Name
YTD Rtn %
3 Yr Rtn %
Trading Vol.
NASDAQ 100 Trust Shares
-10.76
1.45
125,000,944
SPDRs
-3.64
2.68
87,466,496
Semiconductor HOLDRs
-6.23
-11.66
26,838,700
iShares MSCI Japan Index
-6.59
7.18
17,256,500
iShares Russell 2000 Index
-7.46
6.43
16,210,700
Energy Select Sector SPDR
15.88
15.50
14,900,000
Financial Select Sector SPDR
-8.42
2.61
11,612,800
DIAMONDS Trust, Series 1
-3.75
2.21
7,350,600
Utilities Select Sector SPDR
6.84
6.82
3,848,200
Materials Select Sector SPDR
-4.31
8.50
2,179,300
 
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