In a recent article in FT Adviser, Lumin Wealth Investment Manager Elliott Frost wondered how much alpha left is in active fixed income. Frost believes that a fixed income allocation should include a strategic mix of active and passive management. He notes that active fixed-income managers have generally outperformed passive strategies in the fixed-income space due to several reasons. The first is that companies with the most debt typically make up the largest component of a fixed income market index, leaving the portfolio more exposed to unfavorable changes in credit. Another reason is the lack of risk mitigation. Passive managers cannot “dial up or dial down risk.” However, he noted that the alpha generated by active managers has been to some degree, due to a long-term overweight on credit. Frost believes that if we account for a manager’s credit exposure, fees, and other factor exposures such as volatility, there might not be much alpha left. This is why he recommends not putting “all your eggs in one basket” and incorporating a passive fixed index into a portfolio for cheap access to a liquid market.
Finsum: Lumin Wealth’s Elliott Frost wonders if there is much alpha left in active fixed income once a manager’s credit exposure, fees, and volatility are accounted for.