About the Editor
Alex Bryan, CFA, is director of passive strategies for North America at Morningstar Research Services LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. Before assuming his current role in 2016, Bryan spent four years as a manager analyst covering equity strategies. Previously, he was a project manager and senior data analyst in Morningstar's Data department. He joined Morningstar in 2008 as an inside sales consultant for Morningstar Office.

Bryan holds a bachelor's degree in economics and finance from Washington University in St. Louis, where he graduated magna cum laude, and a master's degree in business administration, with high honors, from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation. In 2016, Bryan was named a Rising Star at the 23rd Annual Mutual Fund Industry Awards.


Investment Strategy
Morningstar ETFInvestor scans the globe for value and improving fundamentals across virtually all asset classes. Editor Alex Bryan 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 four model portfolios.

The Basic Portfolio harnesses the market's collective wisdom with ultra-low-cost funds and is the baseline portfolio against which the three other portfolios will be compared.

The Defensive Portfolio aims to provide lower volatility, better downside protection, and better risk-adjusted performance than the basic portfolio over the long-term.

The Factor Portfolio is designed to earn higher returns than the basic portfolio over the long-term.

The Income Portfolio attempts to earn a higher distribution yield than the basic portfolio, without taking a lot more risk.

 
About Editor Editor's Photo
Alex Bryan, CFA,
Director of Passive Strategies for North America and Editor
Alex Bryan, CFA, is director of passive strategies for North America at Morningstar Research Services LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. Before assuming his current role in 2016, Bryan spent four years as a manager analyst covering equity strategies.Previously, he was a project manager and senior data analyst in Morningstar's Data department. He joined Morningstar in 2008 as an inside sales consultant for Morningstar Office.
Featured Posts
DFA Enters the ETF Business

On Friday, Dimensional Fund Advisors filed to launch three actively-managed ETFs. These new products are versions of its core equity strategy (focused on the U.S., foreign developed markets, and emerging markets, respectively) that offer broad exposure to the market and adjust their holdings' weightings to favor stocks with lower valuations, smaller size, and higher profitability.

This marks Dimensional's entry into the ETF business. (It previously developed indexes that John Hancock ETFs track, but never directly offered ETFs.) This is a significant milestone for the firm, partially because investors won't need to go through an approved advisor to access the firm's ETFs. Dimensional put that requirement in place to mitigate short-term trading in its funds and partner with investors who subscribe to the firm's core investment philosophy.

My colleagues and I had a chance to speak with Gerard O'Reilly today, one of the firm's Co-CEOs. He said he is less concerned about short-term trading in the ETFs, since the ETF structure largely externalizes those costs. 

The timing of the firm's decision to launch ETFs is partially driven by commercial considerations. While the firm has enjoyed strong inflows for the better part of the past decade, flows turned negative over the past twelve months. Indeed, O'Reilly acknowledged that clients are increasingly asking for ETFs. However, he also cited the ETF Rule as a consideration influencing the timing of this decision. The ETF Rule allows all ETF providers to use custom creation and redemption baskets, which can reduce transaction costs and improve tax efficiency. 

The firm doesn't expect to change its distribution strategy or focus on institutional investors and financial advisors.  

Dimensional is slow to the ETF party, but its entry should benefit investors by allowing more people to access the firm's strategies and do so in a more tax efficient way. 

Best,

Alex 

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Financial Select Sector SPDR
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DIAMONDS Trust, Series 1
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7,350,600
Utilities Select Sector SPDR
6.84
6.82
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Materials Select Sector SPDR
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