Horizons All-In-One ETF Series (2022): Set and Forget Portfolios

Although ETFs usually cover a specific theme, all-in-one solutions do exist and are great to consider if you are looking to simplify your investment approach. Horizons has a great all-in-one ETF suite that is available for investors here in Canada.

Horizons all-in-one ETF series saves the do-it-yourself investor from having to figure out:

  • Diversification
  • Asset Allocation
  • Risk

While there are many asset managers in Canada, Horizons is the fourth-largest ETF provider in Canada by assets.

Understanding Asset Allocation

One-ticket solutions are typically differentiated by how the percentage of stocks and bonds that they hold in the portfolio. Across most all-in-one solutions, the ETFs have different weightings based on the fund’s advertised risk profile.

All-in-one ETFs have fairly generic names and usually, look something like this (from lower to higher risk):

  • Very Conservative
  • Conservative
  • Balanced
  • Growth
  • Maximum Growth

 A very conservative ETF will likely be close to 100% invested in fixed income. A maximum growth ETF will be closer to a 100% investment in stocks. All-in-one ETFs rarely diversify outside of stocks and bonds into other investments such as alternatives.

We’ll provide an overview of Horizons all-in-one ETF series below, and discuss some features of the different options that are available to you as an investor.

All-In-One ETFAdvertised Risk RatingMEREquity/Fixed Income %
HCONLow-to-Medium0.15%50/50
HBALLow-to-Medium0.16%70/30
HGROLow-to-Medium0.16%100/0

Horizons All-In-One ETF Overview

1. Horizons Conservative Tri ETF Portfolio

horizons logo
  • Ticker: HCON.TO
  • Inception Date: August 1, 2018
  • Assets under Management: $53.26 million
  • Management Expense Ratio: 0.14%
  • Listed on: Toronto Stock Exchange
  • Annualized Yield: 0.75%
  • Stock Price: $12.3
  • YTD Return: -10.62%

HCON is Horizons’ most conservative all-in-one ETF solution.  The ETF targets a 50% equity and 50% fixed income allocation and is a fund of funds.

Although it is labelled as a conservative all-in-one ETF, it is deceptively aggressive in terms of its asset allocation. A conservative portfolio typically has an allocation to bonds between 0-30%.

HCON has a short performance track record and is a small ETF in terms of assets. It comes with one of the lowest MERs when compared to other all-in-one ETF solutions from competitors.

The ETF offers a negligible yield and pays distributions on an annual basis. Horizons labels its ETF as being low-to-medium risk, which is a fair assessment of risk based on the ETF’s asset allocation.

As mentioned before, HCON is aggressive in terms of features when compared to other all-in-one conservative ETFs.

Other comparable all-in-one ETFs from competitors with a 50% equity and 50% fixed income allocation will likely be named balanced portfolios.

It holds roughly eight underlying ETF positions, making it well diversified.

For investors that are looking for an income stream from their investments, HCON is likely a poor choice because of its very low yield and annual distribution scheme.

If you are looking for a balanced all-in-one ETF solution and don’t really care about income, HCON is ironically a good option because of its very low fees.

2. Horizons Balanced Tri ETF Portfolio

horizons logo
  • Ticker: HBAL.TO
  • Inception Date: August 1, 2018
  • Assets under Management: $146.91 million
  • Management Expense Ratio: 0.15%
  • Listed on: Toronto Stock Exchange
  • Annualized Yield: 0.04%
  • Stock Price: $13.11
  • YTD Return: -11.43%

The Horizons Balanced Tri ETF Portfolio is next on our list. Trading under the ticker HBAL, this ETF targets a 70% equity and 30% fixed income allocation.

This type of asset allocation is typically labeled as a growth portfolio across the industry and with competitors.

HBAL has the same inception date as HCON, giving investors a short performance track record. HBAL is larger in size and is offered at a marginally higher MER than HCON.

The ETF again offers a negligible yield and also pays distributions on an annual basis. Horizons labels this all-in-one ETF as having a low-to-medium risk rating. Since the portfolio is composed of 70% stocks, a medium risk rating would likely be more appropriate.

If you are looking for a constant income stream at a higher risk level than HCON, HBAL would again be inappropriate for your portfolio.   

HBAL has approximately eight underlying ETF holdings in its portfolio, making it well diversified.

When comparing HBAL to other balanced all-in-one ETFs, remember that most balanced funds have a 50/50 or 60/40 equity-to-fixed-income allocation. The additional risk taken on by HBAL may skew performance when comparing it to peers.

If a 70% equity and 30% fixed income allocation is appropriate for your risk tolerance and objectives, HBAL is a great option to consider. It comes with one of the lowest MERs when compared to similar all-in-one ETFs from competitors. Read the full HBAL review here.

3. Horizons Growth Tri ETF Portfolio

horizons logo
  • Ticker: HGRO.TO
  • Inception Date: September 13, 2019
  • Assets under Management: $169.05 million
  • Management Expense Ratio: 0.16%
  • Listed on: Toronto Stock Exchange
  • Annualized Yield: 1.23%
  • Stock Price: $13.36
  • YTD Return: -12.32%

The last all-in-one ETF on Horizons’ short ETF list is HGRO. The ETF aims for a 100% equity and 0% fixed income allocation. It is a fund of funds and holds roughly six ETF holdings.

This all-in-one ETF is poorly displayed to investors by Horizons. Typical growth portfolios have a 70% or 80% equity allocation, not 100% (these are called maximum growth or all-equity).

A 100% equity portfolio is also generally considered at least medium risk, not the low-to-medium rating that is advertised by Horizons.

The growth portfolio has the shortest performance track record on the Horizons all-in-one ETF lineup.

It is also the largest in assets under management. It has a similar MER to the other ETFs covered until now, which makes it very competitively priced.

HBAL’s dividend yield is virtually zero, with any distributions being paid out annually to investors. Horizons labels HGRO as being low-to-medium risk, which is incorrect when applying industry standards.  

The low yield and infrequent distributions make HGRO a poor choice for investors looking for steady income.

With a 100% allocation to equities, HBAL is more aggressive than virtually other growth all-in-one ETFs offered by competitors. As mentioned before, the growth portfolio allocation typically includes between 20-30% allocated towards fixed income.

If you are aware of the higher-than-advertised risk from HGRO and are looking for a 100% equity, all-in-one portfolio, HGRO is a great choice. It is much more inexpensive than comparable all-in-one ETFs from competitors in Canada.

How to Buy Horizon’s All-In-One ETF Series

The cheapest way to buy ETFs is from discount brokers. My top choices in Canada are:

Readers Choice
Qtrade
Qtrade
  • 105 commission-free ETFs to buy and sell
  • Excellent customer service
  • Top-notch market research tools
  • Easy-to-use and stable platform 
Low Fees
Wealthsimple Trade
Wealthsimple Trade
  • Stock and ETF buys and sells have $0 trading fees
  • Desktop and mobile trading
  • Reputable fintech company
  • Fractional shares available
Well-Rounded
Questrade
Questrade
  • ETF buys have $0 trading fees
  • Excellent market research tools
  • Most types of registered accounts available

To learn more, check out my full breakdown of the best trading platforms in Canada.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a one-ticket solution to hold in your account, Horizons’ lineup is an excellent and inexpensive choice. The three all-in-one ETFs have some of the lowest MERs when compared to funds from competitors.

Since Horizons understates the riskiness of HBAL and HGRO, make sure to do additional third-party due diligence to make sure that you thoroughly understand the asset allocation of the ETFs.

Which all-in-one ETF to purchase depends on your specific goals and objectives. Equities are generally considered medium risk, and bonds are generally considered low risk.

These risk ratings can vary as the features of the stocks and bonds change. Horizons is not the only asset manager in Canada to offer all-in-one ETFs.

Several great options exist for all-in-one ETF portfolios, so make sure to compare the ETFs across investment managers as well.

Photo of author
Author Bio - Christopher Liew is a CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Wealthawesome.com. Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

Check Out These Posts:

Leave a Comment