A moderate ETF portfolio for investors in their peak earning years

Capital appreciation is important, but so is managing risk.

John Gabriel 13 March, 2015 | 5:00PM

Note: This article is part of Morningstar's March 2015 ETF Investing Week special report.

With the vast proliferation of exotic and niche ETFs over the past several years I've heard some investors claim that ETFs are just trading tools. Given the massive presence that funky ETFs occupy within the financial media (despite their small asset base), it's not surprising that some investors hold this misguided view.

But ETFs aren't just for gunslingers and in fact boast some attributes that make them ideal for retirement portfolios. Many have very low costs, of course, and the advent of commission-free trading on many ETF platforms is another plus. Low all-around costs are key for folks at all life stages but especially as retirement approaches, precisely when investors are sinking ever-larger shares of their portfolios into lower-returning fixed-income assets and cash.

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John Gabriel

John Gabriel  John Gabriel is a strategist for Morningstar’s manager research team.

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