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.

 
 
Mar 27, 2017
Welcome !
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
New Issue: A Different Way to Frame Fees

The PDF version of the March issue of ETFInvestor is now available for download.

The iPad version will be available in approximately 3 business days.

Fund fees command a lot of attention, and rightfully so. They are, after all, the most reliable estimator of a fund’s return prospects. As Vanguard founder Jack Bogle has said time and again, “In investing, you get what you don’t pay for.” But that doesn’t mean investors should select funds based solely on fees. There are numerous factors that should be considered when choosing funds. These include the skills, experience, and structure of the fund’s management team, the process they employ (which is largely dictated by an index methodology in the case of most index funds and exchange-traded funds), and whether the fund’s sponsor is a sound steward of shareholders’ capital, amongst others. It can also be useful to take a more holistic approach to assessing fees. In this month’s cover, I explore a different approach to framing fund fees, one that looks not just at how much you’re paying, but also what you’re getting.

Also in this issue:

  • I look at how active managers fared versus their passive peers in 2016.
  • I discuss the changes that are in store for Income and Asset Allocation portfolio holding PIMCO Total Return ETF BOND.
  • Alex Bryan profiles PowerShares S&P SmallCap Low Volatility ETF XSLV which carries a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Bronze.
  • Adam McCullough shares his analysis of Bronze-rated iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor USA ETF LRGF.
  • Alex looks under the hood of five momentum funds.
  • Adam examines different approaches to combining factors within a multifactor fund.
  • In this month’s Sector Snapshot, I unpack the drivers behind SPDR S&P 500 ETF’s SPY broad-based February gains.

You can download this month's issue here:
http://etf.morningstar.com/Newsletter.aspx?download=currentIssue

Best,

Ben Johnson, CFA

Portfolio Holdings
Income Portfolio
ETF
YTD Ret %
Price $
1.2
105.4
CASH$
N/A
1.0
9.9
53.8
8.4
66.4
3.9
21.0
2.8
28.5
1.7
44.3
0.4
23.3
1.2
31.1
Global Asset Allocation Portfolio
ETF
YTD Ret %
Price $
1.2
105.4
CASH$
N/A
1.0
9.9
53.8
3.9
21.0
2.8
28.5
1.7
44.3
7.4
39.3
5.4
89.8
0.4
23.3
1.2
31.1
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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