Bonds

(New York)

Alongside the rise in bond yields, investors have been pouring money into short-term bonds, says Barron’s. With rates and yields rising, short-term bonds have less rate risk. But even more, their yields look very attractive versus long-term bonds. Two-year treasury yields are now over 2.5%, versus just 3% on a ten-year note.


FINSUM: Why wouldn’t one be putting money in short-term bonds right now? They are relatively insensitive to rate hikes and are offering solid above-inflation yields.

(New York)

If anything is becoming clearer in financial markets, especially after yesterday, it is that rates and yields are bound to rise. Thus many might be worried about how to protect their clients from the changing market. Barron’s has some suggestions. The key is to hold a fixed income portfolio for several years, a minimum of six, and to make sure to reinvest proceeds in higher yielding bonds. To achieve the targeted five-year maturity sweet spot, consider Vanguard’s intermediate Treasury fund, while also mixing in some Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) to provide further protection.


FINSUM: This seems like a good strategy for a long period of gradual rate hikes.

(New York)

As we have told readers, we have been keeping our antennae up for signs that an economic downturn may be on its way. Well, the biggest one of all just showed its head, and investors need to take notice. An important part of the rates market just showed an inverted yield curve. The one-month U.S. overnight indexed swap rate is now inverted, and this implies some expectation of a lower Fed policy rate after the first quarter of 2020, says JP Morgan. The Bank summarizes the situation this way, saying “An inversion at the front end of the U.S. curve is a significant market development, not least because it occurs rather rarely … It is also generally perceived as a bad omen for risky markets”.


FINSUM: If the market thinks rates are going to be lower in 2020, that means parts of the bond market are expecting a recession between now and then. Take notice.

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