MER on ZGB is 0.17%. Backtesting since the fund's inception in Jan 2010 shows no real performance gain over XBB in james4beach's AW portfolio (20% gold, 30% stock split US/Canada, 50% bond)ZGB would be more accurate as a one stop shop. It’s all govt (mixed fedd/prov) with a duration of 11 yrs, I think. xbb & zag, while I appreciate both for their simplicity, have 20% Corp bond which, I don’t think is part of Dalio or Brown’s plan.
Right now the true risks in Corp debt are not surfacing because the US Fed is buying Corp debt and thus has put a floor under it. Otherwise corp debt would have already hit the skids this year - this action alone would have negated most (if not all) of the long (govt) bonds benefits for your portfolio. Your bond portion (govt) is designed to do well in times of prosperity and deflation....
We happen to be in a period of deflation right now.... which is hard on companies and their debt.
corp bonds give a better yield but the offsets need to be weighed out, and there is no way to know if the Fed will continue to buy up Corp debt, in this cycle or the next.
I'd still choose XBB with a MER of 0.10%