How To Build A Bond ETF Portfolio

Want to find the right bond ETF or ETFs to add to your portfolio, but not sure where to start looking? ETF.com offers a handy tool that can help you in researching funds: the ETF Finder.

The ETF Finder is a free, one-of-a-kind screener that allows you to quickly research ETFs in a given class and locate specific funds out of the 1,800+ U.S.-listed ETFs on the market today.

How The ETF Finder Works

The ETF Finder consists of several drop-down boxes that allow you to begin your search as widely or as granularly as you want. Menus allow you to select ETFs by general characteristics, like asset class or economic development level, or by specific ones, like industry niche or currency. With every selection, results automatically update at the bottom of the page, giving you a list of ETFs that meet your criteria. For side-by-side comparisons, you can also search for specific ETFs by ticker, up to three at a time.

.

If the initial 14 drop-down menus don't narrow the pool of possible ETFs enough for you, then the "More Filters" tab lets you drill down even further. Here you can further specify active versus passive funds, weighting methodologies, expense ratios and even percentage returns.

.

Clicking on each ETF's ticker or fund name takes you to its individual page within ETF.com. There you can find up-to-the-minute prices and returns, and read our analysts' assessment of each fund's investability.

.

The ETF universe is ever-changing, with new launches and closures occurring every day. That's why the ETF Finder is updated daily, so you won't miss out on newer ETFs that might meet your needs, or waste your time researching a fund that no longer exists.

How To Look Up Bond ETFs

The ETF Finder is powerful, yet very easy to use. Let's walk through an example.

Say I want to learn more about bond ETFs, but I'm not sure what kind of fund I'm looking for. I can narrow down my selection by asset class:

.

Doing so provides roughly 300 bond ETF results, organized automatically by size (assets under management). The list also includes each ETF's ticker, full name, issuer, expense ratio, spread and classification category.

HowtoBuildaBondETFPortfolio

For a larger view, please click on the image above.

Notice that there are also several tabs to provide further data on each bond ETF. The Performance tab shows each fund's 1-month, 3-month, 1-year, 5-year and 10-year returns—handy for side-by-side comparisons.

HowtoBuildaBondETFPortfolio

For a larger view, please click on the image above.

The Analysis tab shows metrics for each ETF, including its ETF.com Efficiency, Trading and Fit scores, its overall letter grade and whether it's an Analyst Pick.

HowtoBuildaBondETFPortfolio

For a larger view, please click on the image above.

The Fundamentals tab reveals the duration, credit quality and yield to maturity for each ETFcritical information for bond ETF investorswhile the Classification tab breaks down the specifics of how each fund is categorized within the ETF.com Classification System.

HowtoBuildaBondETFPortfolio

For a larger view, please click on the image above.

Finally, the Tax tab shows each fund's relevant tax information, such as its capital gains rate and tax reporting structure.

HowtoBuildaBondETFPortfolio

For a larger view, please click on the image above.

You can even design your own Custom list of output fields based on what most matters to you:

.

How To Find The Right Bond ETF

Let's try another few examples. Say I want to look up high-yield ETFs to better take advantage of the corporate bond ETF market. It's as easy as selecting "High Yield" from the Focus menu:

.

Or say I want to find short-duration TIPS ETFs, to protect against inflation while also weathering a potential rise in rates. All I have to do is set Category to "U.S. Government"; Focus to "TIPS"; and Niche to "Short-Term":

.

You can even use the ETF Finder tool to research ETFs you already know about. Say I want to compare the Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND | A-94) against the iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG | A-98). I just have to input their tickers into the "Find ETFs" box, and results will pop up that reveal a wealth of data about these two funds:

.

Using the ETF Finder really is just that easy.

Next: What Kinds Of Bond ETFs Are There?

Other Articles Of Interest

Bond ETFs Vs. Bond Mutual Funds: Which Should You Choose?
Bond ETF Taxation: Three Things You Need To Know

Find your next ETF

CLEAR FILTER