Once the risk budget is determined, we evaluate the performance of the exchange-traded funds on a risk-adjusted basis over multiple time periods. At that point, we begin to make decisions as to which asset classes we want to overweight, underweight or eliminate from consideration. It is a process of quantitative inputs and qualitative output.
Right now you hold a high percentage of emerging-markets stocks in your portfolio. Is this a statement about the American market? Is this a high-risk strategy?
The allocations within the AdvisorOne funds does change over time. Focusing on Amerigo, the more aggressive equity fund, in early 2003, the fund had no exposure to emerging markets, and total developed international exposure was approximately 7%. Our developed and emerging-market exposure peaked in 2004 at just over 40% and currently resides in the low 30s with a higher exposure to emerging markets.
When investors think of emerging markets, they think of what emerging markets were 10 or 20 years ago. Most of the emerging markets now have investment-grade debt ratings, are experiencing rapid economic growth, yet they still carry a relatively low valuation because they are still classified by investors as "emerging." The potentially big win for investors would be the revaluation of many of the emerging markets to developed markets as their P/Es increase from, for example, 10 times earnings to the 17 times earnings that many developed markets are valued at.
How much do your funds cost?
The expense ratio of the funds is 1.15%. The approximate expense of the underlying ETFs in the portfolios is 0.35% for Amerigo and 0.25% for Clermont. Our trading costs for the ETFs are running approximately 1.5 cents per share. If we want to exit a position, it is less costly for us to exit an entire ETF position compared to what it would cost us to exit several different equity positions comprising a similar size position.