What are the best Ballast ETFs?
4 min read
By Ron Koren, ETF Insider

What are the best Ballast ETFs?

Ballast ETFs are a type of exchange-traded fund that aims to provide stability and reduce risk in an investment portfolio. These ETFs typically invest in a diversified mix of assets, including stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments, with the goal of balancing risk and potential returns. In this article, we will explore the best Ballast ETFs available in the market and compare them to similar options.

Understanding Ballast ETFs

Ballast ETFs are designed to act as a stabilizing force in a portfolio, providing investors with a cushion during periods of market volatility. These ETFs often include assets such as government bonds, high-quality corporate bonds, and defensive stocks, which tend to be less affected by market downturns. By including these assets in a portfolio, investors can potentially reduce the overall risk and downside potential.

Comparing Ballast ETFs

One notable Ballast ETF is the iShares Core Conservative Allocation ETF (AOK). This ETF seeks to provide conservative investors with a balanced mix of stocks and bonds. AOK invests in a combination of low-cost iShares ETFs, with approximately 40% allocated to equity ETFs and 60% allocated to fixed-income ETFs. The fund aims to provide stable income and preserve capital over the long term.

Another option to consider is the Invesco Balanced Multi-Asset Allocation ETF (PSMB). This ETF seeks to provide a diversified blend of assets, including equities, fixed income, and alternative investments. PSMB dynamically adjusts its allocation based on market conditions, aiming to provide downside protection during market downturns while participating in upside potential during market upswings.

While both AOK and PSMB focus on providing ballast to a portfolio, they differ in their underlying holdings and allocation strategies. AOK takes a more conservative approach with a higher allocation to fixed income, while PSMB incorporates alternative investments and employs dynamic allocation adjustments. Investors should carefully consider their risk tolerance and investment objectives when choosing between these options.

AOK overlap What are the best Ballast ETFs?AOK overlap What are the best Ballast ETFs?

The Benefits of Ballast ETFs

Ballast ETFs offer several benefits for investors. Firstly, they can help mitigate risk by diversifying across asset classes, reducing exposure to any single investment. Additionally, these ETFs provide convenience and liquidity, as they can be bought and sold throughout the trading day on major exchanges. Finally, Ballast ETFs often have lower expense ratios compared to actively managed mutual funds, making them a cost-effective choice for investors.


In summary, Ballast ETFs play a crucial role in providing stability and risk reduction within an investment portfolio. Investors looking for Ballast ETFs may consider options such as the iShares Core Conservative Allocation ETF (AOK) and the Invesco Balanced Multi-Asset Allocation ETF (PSMB). However, it's important to carefully evaluate these ETFs based on individual investment objectives and risk tolerance.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice. The selection of specific ETFs should be based on individual research and consideration of personal financial goals. It is important to consult with a qualified financial advisor before making any investment decisions.


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  • What is the Ballast ETF?

    Ballast ETFs are a type of exchange-traded fund that aims to provide stability and downside protection to an investor's portfolio by including assets that have historically shown low correlation with traditional equity markets.

  • What are the advantages of investing in Ballast ETFs?

    Investing in Ballast ETFs can help diversify a portfolio and potentially reduce overall volatility. These ETFs typically include assets such as bonds, commodities, or alternative investments that have the potential to perform well during market downturns.

  • How do Ballast ETFs work?

    Ballast ETFs work by allocating investments across various asset classes that have historically shown low correlation with each other. This diversification can help cushion the impact of market volatility and provide a more balanced risk-return profile.

  • What types of assets are typically included in Ballast ETFs?

    Ballast ETFs may include a mix of assets such as government bonds, corporate bonds, commodities like gold or silver, real estate investment trusts (REITs), or alternative investments such as hedge funds or managed futures.

  • What should I consider when choosing Ballast ETFs?

    When choosing Ballast ETFs, it's important to consider factors such as the ETF's expense ratio, the underlying assets it holds, the fund's historical performance during market downturns, and the overall diversification it provides.