Interest Income Portfolio - Portfolio Adjustment
We have made some adjustments to the Interest Income Portfolio
The objective of the InvestSMART Interest Income Portfolio is to provide returns in line with the Bloomberg AusBond Composite 0 Yr Total Return Index. The portfolio is suitable to investors with a more conservative risk appetite, or for use in forming the defensive portion of a diversified portfolio.
ETFs allow investors to construct diversified portfolios at a lower cost, and as the Australian ETF market continues to develop the number of options available to investors to tailor their portfolios to meet their objectives continues to grow.
As a category, Fixed Income focused ETFs have grown strongly with FUM increasing close to 50% and the number of products on market going from 17 to 25 in the 12 months to December 2017. As a result, the opportunity for us to adjust our portfolio to better achieve returns in line with our objectives while also reducing costs has improved.
Removal of BetaShares High Interest Cash ETF (ASX: AAA). The yield on AAA has gradually declined since the establishment of the Interest Income portfolio now sitting at around 2%. As such, we will reinvest this cash allocation into higher yielding fixed interest securities.
Removal of the Macquarie Income Opportunities Fund (MAQ0277AU). Where appropriate, we continually aim to reduce costs within our portfolios. During 2017, two floating rate funds were listed, FLOT which we currently hold and BetaShares Australian Bank Senior Floating Rate Bond ETF (ASX: QPON). Removing MAQ0277AU and reinvesting across these two securities for our floating rate exposure will see the weighted average indirect cost ratio (ICR) of the portfolio reduced to 22bp.
Replacement of iShares Core Composite Bond ETF (ASX: IAF) with three separate ETFs. IAF is comprised of Treasuries, Government Bonds & Corporate Bonds. By selling IAF and reinvesting the proceeds across three separate ETFs, we are able to maintain our fixed interest exposure while also improving the level of control we have over our weighting to each sector. The three new ETFs are:
- Vanguard Australian Corporate Fixed Interest ETF (ASX: VACF)
- iShares Treasury ETF (ASX: IGB)
- Vanguard Australian Government Bond ETF (ASX: VGB)
Overall, the key benefits that arise from these changes include:
- Reduction in ICR
- Greater alignment to our benchmark
- Improved credit profile
- Greater control over individual sector allocations