Eq: Large Cap
Warnings are piling up for high-yield bonds. The asset class could take a big hit if the Fed’s rate hikes push the U.S. economy into a recession, sparking rating downgrades and defaults. But that hasn’t stopped investors from piling into junk bond ETFs. In fact, of the nearly $11 billion that flooded into fixed-income ETFs over the past week, $1.6 billion flowed into the iShares iBoxx High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG), the most of any fund, according to Bloomberg data. It’s difficult for investors to resist yields near the highest levels of the past decade according to CreditSights. Zachary Griffiths, a senior fixed-income strategist with CreditSights, said the following on Bloomberg Television, “Yields look too good to be short. The potential for returns in the 12% area makes high-yield an attractive place to be and we’re also more optimistic on the economic front, which is very important for our call.” With money flowing into high yield and other corporate credit, demand is falling for cash-like short-term bond ETFs. For example, more than $860 million flowed out of the iShares 0-3 Month Treasury Bond ETF (SGOV) in the past week, after $6.6 billion flowed into the fund last year.
Finsum:With yields on high-yield bonds near a ten-year high, it’s difficult for investors to resist junk bond ETFs, even with warnings piling up.
High Yield Bond ETFs have seen a resurgence in inflows over the past few months. Between September 9th to December 9th, $5.4 billion in capital moved into 53 high-yield bond funds that are part of ETF Central’s high-yield bond category. This includes inflows of $2.7 billion over the past month. The uptick in inflows suggests that investors are more willing to take on risk now. High-yield bond ETFs may have higher rates and return potential, but also come with greater default risk. The jump in flows can be attributed to lower-than-expected inflation data, which could lead investors to believe that the Fed might slow down its tightening cycle. For instance, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.1 percent in November on a seasonally adjusted basis, after increasing 0.4 percent in October. In addition, many investors have been sitting on the sidelines due to the uncertainty in the market and waiting for the time to deploy cash into riskier investments such as high-yield bond ETFs. Plus, the spreads in high-yield bonds have been widening this year, which indicates lower prices and selling pressure on the category. With spreads still fairly wide, there is potential for more upside in high-yield bonds.
Finsum:High-yield bond ETFs are seeing a jump in flows on account of lower-than-expected inflation data, cash on the sidelines being put to use, and fairly wide spreads in high-yield bonds.
Fixed income ETFs – and non core fixed income, especially? You go. According to a survey by State Street Global Advisors, they “play an expanded role in portfolio construction” for institutional investors, stated etftrends.com.
As reported in last month, over the next 12 months, the 700 global institutional investors surveyed by SSGA plan to up their exposure to high yield corporate debt; in all likelihood, 62% will do it through ETFs, per “The Role of ETFs in a New Fixed Income Landscape.” Last year was a different story. Just 27% of investors were significantly using ETFs to expand their allocation of to non core fixed income, according to the last year’s fixed income survey.
“Our conversations with investors have reinforced what we already knew – there is significant demand for more targeted fixed income products,” said Tom Kelly, an ETF industry leader co founder. “Our initial product suites aim to create a full toolkit for high-yield investors looking to implement their specific views on the market, and we anticipate extending this approach to other fixed income asset classes.”
Now, with minds of their own, bless ‘em, younger investors are more inclined to place emphasis on total returns over income potential, according to usnews.com.
Almost on the dime, they reinvest dividends – any dividends, while investors who’ve been around the block oh, say, a time or two, might place greater importance on the possibility of greater income. For a steady income to accommodate living expenses, they could lean on their portfolios.
Perhaps you’ve heard: inflation seems to have an insatiable appetite and the short term outlook in fixed income are being dominated by interest rates spikes by the central bank, according to ssga.com.
Ah, but there is a life preserver: longer term, structural factors are having more than a little sway in how investors implement and oversee fixed income allocations.
'Did someone say life preserver’, grumbled the Skip from Gilligan’s Island?
‘Fraid so, dude.
And you want to know the punch that ETFs are packing in in the evolving landscape of fixed income? Well, consider ssga’s new global study, which surveyed 700 institutional investors and investment decision makers.
One key finding: there was a growth from assets under management from $574 billion in 2017 to $1.28 trillion in 2021, according to data recorded by the New York Stock Exchange. What’s more, the number of funds also accelerated like no one’s business over the same period – from 278 to almost 500.
As for non core sectors? The role of ETFs in asset allocation is propelling, according to its survey this year.
According to the report, 62% of investors who are ratcheting up their exposure to high yield corporate credit over the next 12 months indicated the chances are high they’ll leverage ETFs to do it. Ditto for 53% in terms of emerging market debt, according to pionline.com.
"Our 2022 survey shows that the role of ETFs in asset allocation is expanding to non-core sectors," said the report, "The Role of ETFs in a New Fixed Income Landscape."
VanEck recently announced the launch of an actively managed multi-asset income-focused ETF that offers diversified exposure to the highest-yielding segments of the equity income and fixed income markets. The VanEck Dynamic High Income ETF (INC), which trades on the NYSE, seeks to identify compelling sources of high income and dividends and builds a corresponding portfolio primarily of ETFs. INC's fixed income component is made up of exposure to "fallen angel" high-yield bonds, international and emerging market high-yield bonds, emerging market local currency bonds, and 10–20-year U.S. Treasuries. Its equity component will include exposure to dividend-paying stocks, business development companies, preferred securities, mortgage REITs, and MLPs. The fund’s management team, which is led by David Schassler, seeks to maximize yield per unit of risk by assessing volatility and correlation data to optimize and refine specific exposures. The ETF is also designed to adapt quickly to changing market conditions and take advantage of price anomalies in the market.
Finsum:VanEck adds to its asset allocation-focused ETF lineup with the launch of a multi-asset income fund that offers exposure to the highest-yielding segments of the market.
T. Rowe Price recently announced the launch of the U.S. High Yield ETF (THYF), an actively managed bond fund that began trading on the NYSE Arca. This is the fourth actively managed fixed-income ETF for the fund firm. The ETF follows the same process as its mutual fund counterpart, the T. Rowe Price U.S. High Yield Fund (TUHYX). The strategy is designed to provide a concentrated, yet balanced, portfolio primarily focused on U.S. high-yield bonds or bonds that are considered below investment grade. Both the ETF and mutual fund are managed by Kevin Loome, CFA, who has been at the firm for 16 years. Loome utilizes a disciplined, fundamental, bottom-up credit selection process, combined with forward-looking research to identify a concentration of high-conviction total return opportunities. While the fund mainly consists of high-yield corporate bonds, it may also include other income-producing instruments such as bank loans, convertible securities, and preferred stocks.
Finsum:T. Rowe Price added to its active fixed-income ETF lineup with the launch of the T. Rowe Price U.S. High Yield ETF (THYF).