This ETF offers broad-based exposure to investment grade U.S. bonds, making AGG a building block for any investor constructing a balanced long-term portfolio as well as a potentially attractive safe haven for investors pulling money out of equity markets. While AGG can potentially be a one stop shop for fixed income exposure, a close look at the composition of this fund is advised. Many may find the significant allocations to MBS and Treasuries somewhat insufficient for their return objectives; increased corporate bond exposure through LQD may result in a better balance and more attractive return. While AGG includes hundreds of individual securities, this ETF actually only holds a fraction of the bonds that make up the underlying benchmark; the sampling strategy employed avoids illiquid issues, but may lead to tracking error. AGG is unmatched in terms of liquidity, but investors can achieve similar exposure at a lower cost; BND and LAG both seek to replicate the same benchmark but charge lower expense ratios. For investors looking to avoid compounding costs and tracking error, the broad-based BND may be a better option for U.S. fixed income exposure.
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