Fixed-income professionals at Franklin Templeton and its affiliates expect fixed-income investments to be a safe haven from equities volatility since the financial markets are showing signs of stress. Tracy Chen, a portfolio manager at Brandywine Global, stated that “We believed something would break, even before this banking crisis happened. Now bonds provide safe haven protection for people’s portfolios because our timeline for recession is pulled forward because of this banking stress.” She recently spoke at a webinar on fixed-income mega-trends, entitled “Navigating Rates and Risk.” She was also joined by Jennifer Johnston, senior vice president and director of municipal bond research at Franklin Templeton, and Annabel Rudebeck, head of non-US corporate credit at Western Asset. Currently, yields are around 5% for corporates, which is considered attractive when compared to the longer-term history and government issuances. Johnston added that the tax-free attributes of municipal bonds provide an extra boost, while the muni market tends to be of higher quality than the corporate market. She stated, “We do see some opportunities, particularly out long, where munis are still relatively cheaper than where they’ve been in the past.” Chen also added that “This banking stress is very unique. It’s not driven by credit risk, but by mismanagement of duration.”
Finsum:With the financial markets showing stress, bond professionals at Franklin Templeton and its affiliates believe that fixed-income instruments provide a safe haven for the current stock volatility.