Best ETFs for Growth (1/14)

The Best ETFs for a Growth Portfolio

By David Kreinces, ETF PM (1/10/14 Updated)

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have been the fastest growing portfolio structure on Wall Street for many years. In fact, two of the world’s largest asset management firms, Vanguard and Blackrock (iShares), are also among the largest ETF providers.

So, which ETFs are best? See the sample core growth portfolios below from VanguardiShares, and ETF PM:

Blog Chart Best ETFs Growth 1Q14

Vanguard Growth (VASGX) – 80% Risk Assets

The Vanguard Growth index fund (VASGX) has over $10 billion in assets with roughly 80% in developed country equities, and 20% in bonds. This core growth index fund has a trailing 10 year annualized return of 6.7%.

Historical performance for VASGX can be simulated with 55% VTI, 25% VEA, and 20% BND.

iShares Growth (AOR) – 60% Risk Assets

The iShares Growth ETF (AOR) has over $250 million in assets with roughly 60% in developed country equities, and 40% in bonds. This core growth ETF also has a trailing 10 year annualized return estimate of 6.7%.

Portions of the historical data for AOR were estimated with 40% IWV, 20% EFA, and 40% AGG.

70/30 Growth – 70% Risk Assets

One well known growth portfolio benchmark is 70% S&P 500 and 30% Long-Term Treasuries (70/30 Growth). 70/30 Growth has a trailing 10 year annualized return estimate of 8.2%.  On a risk adjusted basis, 70/30 Growth performed best by avoiding a larger decline in 2008.

Historical performance was estimated with 70% SPY and 30% TLT.

eMAC Growth – 70% Risk Assets

At ETF PM, we recommend a growth benchmark portfolio based on David Swensen’s prescription in “Unconventional Success,” and his revisions. As a leading endowment fund manager at Yale University, and a vocal critic of the conflicts of interest on Wall Street, Swensen is an ideal architect for a portfolio benchmark.

This efficient multi-asset class (eMAC) allocation is 55% global equities, 15% real estate investment trusts (REITs), and 30% treasury bonds, using six leading ETFs from Vanguard and iShares. The trailing 10 year annualized return estimate is 8.3%.

Historical performance was estimated with 30% VTI, 15% VEA, 10% VWO, 15% VNQ, 15% IEF, and 15% TIP.

The Bottom Line

The eMAC investable benchmark performed best over the trailing 10 year period because it includes emerging markets and real estate, both of which outperformed. While nobody can consistently predict which of these strategic indexing solutions will do best, they all present a great starting point for growth investors.


David S. Kreinces is the Founder of ETF Portfolio Management (ETF PM), a revolutionary financial advisory firm that specializes in rules-based investing and risk control. He has over 20 years of professional investment experience in multiple asset classes and investment processes. He is an expert in trend following and successfully delivered gains in the crash of 2008. See and


Click here for a PDF version.


Share Button

, , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

© 2013 ETF Portfolio Management, LLC

ETF Portfolio Management, LLC
350 Via Las Brisas, Suite 270
Newbury Park, CA 91320
Phone: (866) 409-5844 Toll-Free
Fax: (805) 480-1111

Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Sitemap

        Website Design by Fresh Net