Bonds: Total Market

(New York)

Many are worried the bond market turmoil will grow worse. Bonds sold off fiercely last week, and the US jobs report, while not as great as expected, still reinforced the fact that rates are headed higher as the economy strengthens. However, many economists and analysts think the rise in yields will abate or even reverse in the coming weeks. Yields are at 3.23% on the ten-year Treasury now, but the average forecast of 58 economists surveyed says they will end the year at 3.08%. Even the worst bond market bears, like Goldman Sachs, think yields will only rise gradually to finish the year at 3.4%.


FINSUM: Our personal view is that yields had their big move upward and will probably now trade in a band at least until the next Fed meeting.

(New York)

The whole market is generally afraid of rising rates. Both in 2015 and 2018, there were significant mini-meltdowns about the prospect of aggressive rate rises. One of the aspects that most worries investors is that higher rates will drive participants out of stocks and into higher-yielding bonds. However, while true in some respects, that narrative is far too simple. Higher rates are a symptom of a healthy and growing economy, which means the business fundamentals driving stocks are getting better, a factor which is likely far more important than incremental changes in rates.


FINSUM: We think there is some wisdom in these words, especially as they perfectly encapsulate what has happened with the market this year.

(New York)

There has been a lot of focus in the media lately about rising rates and what they will mean for investor portfolios. The ten-year yield is now well over 3% again, and the Fed looks likely to hike twice more before the end of the year. If your fixed income exposure (and equity exposure) isn’t carefully hedge, it could spell losses. Accordingly, here are three ETFs to help offset rate risk: the SPDR Blmbg Barclays Inv Grd Flt Rt ETF (FLRN), the iShares Floating Rate Bond ETF (FLOT), and the ProShares High Yield—Interest Rate Hdgd (HYHG). The first two rely on floating rate bonds of short maturities, while the ProShares fund goes long corporate bonds and short Treasuries.


FINSUM: The performance of these kind of hedged ETFs has been good since rates started rising a couple years ago. They seem to have an important role to play in portfolios right now.

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