This ETF offers exposure to the global bond market, utilizing a number of different ETPs to construct a well-rounded fixed income portfolio. FWDB is quite a bit different than other ETFs in the Total Bond Market ETFdb Category; funds such as AGG and BND tend to include only investment grade U.S. securities, while FWDB casts a significantly wider net. Beyond Treasuries and investment grade corporates, this ETF includes high yield debt, meaningful international allocations, preferred stocks, munis and Build America Bonds, and TIPS. As such, FWDB could be useful as a one stop shop for fixed income exposure, offering investors access to thousands of individual debt securities from issuers all over the world. Alternatively, FWDB could be useful as a core fixed income holding, complemented by other positions to result in a portfolio tailored to individual risk/return preferences.
The biggest drawback of FWDB is the fees; this ETF is considerably more expensive than other bond ETFs, and the management fees represent a decent chunk of the expected yield (though FWDB is quite a bit cheaper than many bond mutual funds). It should be noted that FWDB is structured as an ETF-of-ETFs, which results in multiple layers of expense ratios. Investors looking to establish a similar return profile but avoid additional fees have the option of building a similar fixed income portfolio themselves; the underlying holdings of FWDB are liquid, transparent ETFs from a number of different issuers.