According to the results of a recent survey, fixed-income investors want more ESG data than what is currently available. A survey of 111 senior buy-side fixed-income investors, which was conducted by analytics firm Coalition Greenwich, found that 90% believe ESG is important to decision-making, but only a third have fully integrated ESG into their risk analysis. The reason for the large difference is a lack of ESG data. Coalition Greenwich’s senior analyst Stephen Bruel stated “It boils down to risk management. If you don’t have reliable ESG data about an issuer or issuance, then it’s harder to calculate what the negative consequences might be.” More than half of the respondents said it was “important to incorporate ESG in fixed-income portfolios to perpetuate corporate values,” but there’s a “gap between where the survey participants want the industry to be and where it actually is.” Data was listed as the largest obstacle to achieving these ESG goals. The concerns about ESG data quality included greenwashing and inconsistent ratings. Essentially, if the data isn’t reliable, then quantifying risk becomes harder, which could open up investors to sizeable losses. This is especially true with the calculation of climate risk, which would certainly benefit from more data.
Finsum: Based on the results of a recent survey, fixed-income professionals believe ESG is important, but a lack of data is preventing more of them from implementing an ESG strategy.
You go, ETFs. More and more, they’re a key component in the evolving fixed income terrain, according to insuranceaum.com. That tidbit surfaced in a survey of 700 institutional investors and investment decision makers.
The download on ETFs:
- Being leveraged for portfolio construction – and that includes non-core allocations
- Playing a liquidity role as investors step up allocations to non-liquid sources of income
- Helping to facilitate the internalization of fixed income management
- Enabling investors to implement, with precision, ESG objectives
Meantime, the New York Stock Exchange’s not only about the peaks and valleys of the market.
And, hey, who doesn’t need a respite from that maddening merry go round?
Assets under management in fixed income ETFs swelled from $574 billion in 2017 to $1.28 trillion last year, according to data recorded by the exchange, reported ssga.com. Wait, there’s more: during the same timeframe, the number of funds leaped from 278 to almost 500.
Jump starting the juices on current income is the primary intent of ETF’s, according to entrepreneur.com. The story appeared originally in Stock News. Capital appreciation’s a secondary objective. The fund’s hopping, too, with $4.78 billion in assets under management, not to mention 1307 holdings.
The $4 trillion municipal debt market is expected to have a “bounce back year” in 2023, according to Charles Schwab’s Cooper Howard. The director and fixed-income strategist for the Schwab Center for Financial Research said in a recent Bloomberg TV interview that “A slower pace of interest-rate hikes, attractive yields, and relatively healthy state and local government finances should lure investors back after demand plunged this year.” He also stated “Credit quality is very high in the municipal bond market. State and local revenues have surged to record-level highs driven by the economic recovery. Given the rise in yields, it is more attractive for retail investors, so there will be more demand coming into the market.” Munis had fallen out of favor due to a combination of inflation and recessionary concerns. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, muni sales are down nearly 19% this year at about $351 billion. However, 10-year municipal yields have more than doubled since the start of the year. While recessionary fears may continue, the municipal market won’t be as affected due to healthy credit ratings. Howard expects municipal debt tied to public transportation to lead the rebound as the airline industry is bouncing back.
Finsum:Schwab strategist Cooper Howard predicts a bounce-back year for munis due to slow rate hikes, attractive yields, and healthy credit in state and local governments.
Even though inflation continues to force the Fed’s hand on tightening, money managers are starting to rebuild their exposures toward Treasuries, with the hope that the highest payouts in years will help cushion portfolios from the damage inflicted by additional rate hikes. For instance, Morgan Stanley believes that a multi-asset income fund can find some of the best opportunities in decades in dollar-denominated securities such as inflation-linked debt and high-grade corporate obligations. That’s because interest payments on 10-year Treasuries have hit 4.125%, the highest since the financial crisis. In addition, PIMCO estimates that long-dated securities, which have been hit hard due to the Fed’s hawkishness, will bounce back if a recession should occur. They believe that a recession would ignite the bond-safety trade, where government debt would act as a hedge in the much-maligned 60/40 portfolio. Essentially, higher income and lower duration are helping to make the case that bonds will have a much better 2022. While inflation and liquidity concerns remain, the median in a recent Bloomberg survey shows “dealers, strategists and economists project bond prices will rise modestly in tandem with cooling inflation, with the 10-year US note trading at 3.5% by end of next year.”
Finsum:A combination of higher income payments and lower duration has money managers becoming more bullish on treasuries.
According to Bloomberg data, the iShares iBoxx $Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD) saw $3 billion in outflows on Monday, its largest one-day outflow since the fund’s inception twenty years ago. The exodus was quite the reversal for LCD as the ETF saw six straight weeks of inflows. The fund was up 9% between October 20th and Friday, with investors pouring money back into credit with the hope that the Fed might slow down the pace of rate hikes. However, those hopes fell as St Louis Fed President James Bullard warned that “markets are underpricing the risk that the central bank will have to be more aggressive rather than less aggressive.” In response, LQD dropped 0.7% on Monday, its worst performance in over a month. As of Monday’s close, the ETF was down 19% for the year, its biggest loss ever. Peter Chatwell, head of global macro strategies trading at Mizuho International told Business Insider that “The fund’s recent rebound likely exacerbated the withdrawals as year-end approaches. Clearly, at this time of year, some money gets taken out of the market, particularly if performance has recently been strong, which with LQD it has.”
Finsum:LQD saw its largest one-day outflow ever as St Louis Fed President James Bullard warned that the Fed will need to become more aggressive, not less aggressive.
China has more than protests on its place these days; it’s also ratcheted up its standards on requirements for ESG disclosure, according to linkedin.com.
The country’s banking and insurance regulators sent its most powerful signal to date that supporting the green economy also should be on the plates of banks insurers. New guidelines were introduced by the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission making it incumbent upon on banking insurance entities to set forth strategies, processes and capacity to abet the transition to a sustainable future.
Typically, these measures change the duties of investors to blend ESG factors into investment decisions and stewardship and keep in mind beneficiary or client sustainability preferences. What’s more, they must report to their beneficiaries or clients.
Since the growth of China’s ESG market works in conjunction with the development of the country’s green finance market, when it comes to ESG policy, it’s a no no to talk it over if the evolution of the country’s green finance policies aren’t kept in mind, according to sixthone.com.
Holly Framsted, ETF director at Capital Group, home of the American Funds, thinks that advisors and tax professionals shouldn’t overlook the role that actively managed fixed-income ETFs can play in tax loss harvesting. Tax loss harvesting is a strategy that involves selling investment securities at a loss to reduce federal capital gains taxes. Framstead notes that typically, investors will turn to the equity markets for tax loss harvesting, but with the bond markets also experiencing losses this year, fixed income should be considered part of the strategy. In an article for Bloomberg Tax, she wrote, “To realize capital losses through tax loss harvesting, investors must not purchase the same or a substantially identical fund or security for 30 days after the sale. During this time, cash raised from the sale of securities can be reinvested in strategies that are different from those that generated the loss.” She believes that the differentiation that active ETF strategies provide relative to other funds “may make them a compelling investment during the wash sale period as a way for investors to maintain exposure to a changing market while still booking losses.”
Finsum:Capital Group’s ETF director recommends incorporating active fixed-income ETFs into a tax loss harvesting strategy to take advantage of the differentiation that they provide.
Category: Bonds: Total Market
Keywords: active etfs, ETFs, fixed income, tax loss harvesting
According to fund managers, investors are pouring money back into U.S. corporate credit due to a combination of higher yields and attractive valuations. Salim Ramji, global head of exchange-traded funds and index investments at BlackRock told the Reuters Global Markets Forum, "We are at the beginning of a rotation as investors come back into credit. With the rapid move in front-end rates, the curve has repriced credit to attractive levels." This has benefited fixed-income ETFs such as the iShares iBoxx Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD) and the iShares High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG), which are on track for quarterly gains in the fourth quarter after falling 20% and 14% respectively this year. Jim Leaviss, chief investment officer for public fixed income at M&G Investments added "We don't know exactly when the peak in inflation will be, but I think that's not a million miles away. If we're at this turning point then the entry-level you get by buying investment-grade credit in the (United) States looks really attractive." Ramji also said that “The jump in bond yields has also made corporate credit more attractive to investors looking for income after years of low-interest rates.”
Finsum:A combination of attractive valuations and higher yields has made U.S. corporate credit ETFs more enticing for investors.
Bond. James B….. Well, no, not exactly. However, for the first time in 10 years, investors are gaining value in bonds, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Bob Michele, as quoted on Bloomberg, reported zacks.com. That’s unfolding in the light of higher interest rates making fixed income more of a financial boon.
“Every wealth-management platform in JPMorgan, every institutional client -- they’re coming to us, they’re putting money in bonds,” Michele told host David Westin. “Bonds are back.” iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond ETF (SHY Quick QuoteSHY – Free is off 5.2% this year while the S&P 500 has lost about 17.2%.
Someone say double duty? They address steepling interest rates as well as yielding healthy current income. In the midst of a tumultuous year, this ETF’s proven relatively resilient.
For those who feast on bonds, a handful of potentially winning ETF strategies are highlighted below:
- High-yield interest-hedged ETFs
- ProShares High Yield-Interest Rate Hedged ETF
- Convertible Bond ETFs
- First Trust SSI Strategic Convertible Securities ETF
- Senior Loan ETFs
- TIPS ETFs
- Floating Rate Bond ETFs
- Short-Term Cash-Like ETFs
Meantime, for the period concluding November 30, 2022, the distribution amounts per security (the "Distributions") for certain of its exchange traded funds, recently was announced by Horizons ETFs Management (Canada) Inc., according to finance.yahoo.com.
Much has been written about the failure of the 60/40 portfolio this year. What was once the classic allocation has seen its share of losses in 2022. Fueled by drawdowns in both the equity and fixed-income markets, advisors and investors are now thinking twice about the following a 60% allocation in stocks and a 40% allocation in bonds. However, there could be a fix. According to fixed income specialist David Norris, the 60/40 portfolio split should be flipped and focused on short-term bonds. Norris, head of U.S. Credit at TwentyFour Asset Management, told Financial Advisor Magazine that “the bond side of that reversal should be anchored in short-duration bonds.” Norris said that “the rate cycle we are in now, with a lot of volatility and inflation, has created a fixed income market with rates we have not seen for a decade. Yields for short-duration bonds are very attractive now.” Norris is not wrong; U.S. short-term government bonds are paying more than 4.5% right now. A focus on short-term bonds should help investors better navigate the current volatility in the market.
Finsum:A bond strategist at TwentyFour Asset Management believes that the 60/40 portfolio should be flipped and focused on short-term bonds.
T. Rowe Price added to its active ETF lineup with the launch of the T. Rowe Price Floating Rate ETF (TFLR). This follows the firm’s launch of the T. Rowe Price High Yield ETF last month. TFLR invests primarily in floating-rate loans and other floating-rate debt securities. The manager, Paul Massaro, will focus on investing in BB and B-rated loans, which he believes are likely to keep volatility at below-market rates over time. He will take a disciplined approach to credit selection, featuring rigorous proprietary research and strict risk control, similar to the mutual fund version of the fund. Massaro had this to say about the launch, "Floating rate bank loans hold a unique position across the broad fixed income landscape given their combination of a floating rate coupon and elevated placement in a company's capital structure – an important risk management attribute. Historically, bank loans have provided a partial hedge against rising rates as well as low return correlations with other asset classes, making them a solid portfolio diversifier.” TFLR trades on the NYSE Arca and has an expense ratio of 0.61%.
Finsum:T. Rowe Price brings its active ETF stable to ten with the recent launch of the T. Rowe Price Floating Rate ETF.
After listing three new equity sustainability ETFs earlier this month, Dimensional Fund Advisors launched a new bond sustainability fund, the Dimensional Global Sustainability Fixed Income ETF (DFSB). The fund, which trades on the NYSE Arca, invests in a broad portfolio of investment-grade debt securities of U.S. and non-U.S. corporate and government issuers, including mortgage-backed securities. DFSB will also take into account the impact that companies may have on environmental and sustainability considerations to lower carbon footprint exposure. More specifically, the fund will exclude companies that the manager considers to have high greenhouse gas emissions intensity or fossil fuel reserves relative to other issuers. DFSB has an expense ratio of 0.24% and is benchmarked against the Bloomberg Global Aggregate Bond Index. The new fund brings DFA’s ETF lineup to 28 with over $64 billion in assets.
Finsum:DFA adds to its ETF lineup with a bond sustainability fund that aims to lower carbon footprint exposure.
Try active fixed management, which has an eye on managing the different risk characteristics of the fixed income market, according to madisoninvestments.com.
When these risks bubble to the top, the price tag on a bond might go kerplunk, potentially jeopardizing interest payments down the line. The upshot: your portfolio could take a hit. Yeah; ouch. Meantime, common as they are, passive buy and hold strategies – or ETFs – have a history of missing the mark on addressing risks linked with fixed income.
On the radar of active fixed management is managing the various risk characteristics of the fixed income market. A portfolio can act in light of market conditions with active decision making within a portfolio.
Okay, so if you’re searching high and low for white knuckle thrills, fixed income investing might not be the Uber pickup you’re looking for.
But…Isn’t there always one? The market volatility sparked by the aftermath of the COVID pandemic, bond specialists might want to hold on tight, according to benefitscanada.com.
“There’s more yield in the marketplace, so bonds are becoming a better competitor to stocks. . . . You should be asking yourself, how do I get more to my portfolio’s core allocation?” said Jeffrey Moore, portfolio manager in the fixed income division at Fidelity Investments, during the Canadian Investment Review‘s 2022 Risk Management Conference, the site continued. “I think there’s a whole bunch of ways.”
While politics have made ESG a controversial topic recently, there’s no denying the fact that its popularity is still soaring. That was made abundantly clear with the release of the Index Industry Association’s (IIA) sixth annual global benchmark survey, showing a surge in ESG benchmarks worldwide. According to the survey, the total number of indexes climbed internationally by 4.43% over the prior year, with ESG indexes worldwide increasing by 55%. However, the bigger news was that fixed-income ESG indexes surpassed equity ESG indexes for the first time. In fact, fixed-income ESG indexes increased by an unprecedented 95.8%. This breaks the previous record of 61.09% last year. While equity ESG index growth was slower, it still grew at a high rate of 24.15 percent. Muni indexes had the strongest year for non-ESG fixed income, rising 10.86%. Rick Redding, IIA’s CEO, said the following concerning the survey: “The index industry continues to meet the needs of the marketplace by creating innovative solutions. Highlighted again this year by record growth in ESG, index providers are empowering investors with the ability to define, track and better understand an ever-broadening range of financial markets, sectors, investment styles, and asset classes.”
Finsum:A recent index survey revealed that fixed-income ESG indexes have surpassed equity ESG indexes for the first time.