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ETFs for the Lazy

The presence of the iShares Global Energy Fund is not to make a bet on energy per se. But without that fund, the portfolio would be severely underweight energy, and that's a sector I want modestly overweighted as a longer-term theme.

PHO, the water portfolio ETF, is a narrower bet on a specific outcome: that drinkable water is becoming more difficult for certain regions to access. It's definitely longer-term in nature, and should provide some slow, modest upside as this thesis gradually takes hold.

Most lazy portfolios I have seen include exposure to real estate. I chose international exposure here because the U.S. market seems more mature and staid -- and lately, volatile, which is the opposite of what you want in a lazy portfolio. Foreign exposure offers less yield, but I believe it offers more longer-term growth potential and an asset class that should not correlate to the U.S. market. By the way, this is a change of thought from when I wrote about this space last September .

The portfolio includes gold exposure with DGL, as does every portfolio I manage. I own it in the belief that it will go up when bad things happen. It is a small but potentially volatile position whose primary role, the way I view it, is as a counter-strategy to equity holdings.

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