Displaying items by tag: ETFs

The stronger than expected jobs report and inflation data have punctured the narrative that the Fed was going to imminently embark on a series of rate cuts. As a result, volatility has spiked in fixed income as the market has dialed back expectations for the number of hikes in 2024.

 

Investors can still take advantage of the attractive yields in bonds while managing volatility with the American Century Short Duration Strategic Income ETF (SDSI) and the Avantis Short-Term Fixed Income ETF (AVSF). Both offer higher yields than money markets while also being less exposed to interest rate risk which has led to steeper losses in longer-duration bonds YTD. 

 

SDSI is an active fund with over 200 holdings and an expense ratio of 0.33%. Its current 30-day yield is 5.2%. The ETF’s primary focus is generating income by investing in short-duration debt in multiple segments such as notes, government securities, asset-backed securities, mortgage-backed securities, and corporate bonds. 

 

AVSF is even more diversified with more than 300 holdings and has a lower expense ratio at 0.15%. It has a 4.7% 30-day yield. AVSF invests in short-duration, investment-grade debt from US and non-US issuers. The fund’s aim is to invest in bonds that offer the highest expected returns by analyzing a bond’s income and capital appreciation potential. 


Finsum: Recent developments have led to a material increase in fixed income volatility. Investors can shield themselves from this volatility while still taking advantage of attractive yields with short-duration bond ETFs. 

 

Published in Bonds: Total Market

 

Buffered ETFs are a relatively new type of fund that offers a unique risk-management approach. These funds track an underlying index to replicate its performance while providing a "buffer" against significant losses. However, this protection comes at a cost, as the fund's upside is capped at a predetermined level.

 

As investor interest in buffered ETFs has grown, fund providers have diversified their offerings by tracking various indices and offering a range of buffer and cap levels. Several applications for these funds have also emerged, such as the ability to put cash to use that might otherwise be held out of the market.

 

Investors in or nearing retirement are particularly susceptible to market volatility, often resorting to holding cash to protect against short-term market fluctuations. While providing protection, this strategy also prevents them from participating in potential market growth.

 

Buffered ETFs bridge this gap, allowing investors to enjoy market gains up to the defined cap while safeguarding against substantial losses. With this level of protection built into the fund, investors may have more confidence to transition a portion of their portfolio out of cash and back into the market.


Finsum: Investors in or near retirement who fear market downside now have a place to invest that cash they have been holding on the sidelines: buffered ETFS.

 

Published in Bonds: Total Market
Friday, 23 February 2024 03:17

Benefits of Active Fixed Income ETFs

A major development in 2023 was the boom in active fixed income ETFs as measured by inflows and launches of new ETFs. Some reasons for interest in the category include opportunities for outperformance, lower volatility, and diversification. Ford O’Neil, fixed income portfolio manager at Fidelity Investments, sees structural reasons for the asset class’s recent success and believes it will continue.

 

According to O’Neil, there is more potential for outperformance in active fixed income vs equities, because indices only cover about half of the total bond market. In contrast, equity indices encompass a much larger share of the entire stock market. This means that the market will be less efficient, resulting in more undervalued securities. 

 

Active managers are also able to better navigate the current landscape, where there is considerable uncertainty about the economy and monetary policy given more latitude when it comes to security selection. He notes that active fixed income ETFs have delivered strong outperformance vs passive fixed income ETFs over the last 8 years. 

 

He stresses that identifying these opportunities is dependent on proper fundamental research and quantitative analysis followed by effective implementation. O’Neil is the co-manager of several active fixed income ETFs including the Fidelity Total Bond ETF (FBND) or the Fidelity High Yield Factor ETF (FDHY).

 

Published in Bonds: Total Market
Friday, 23 February 2024 03:16

Here’s Why High-Yield Bonds Are Outperforming

Recent economic data and tea leaves from Fed officials have resulted in more challenging conditions for fixed income. Essentially, there is much less certainty about the timing and direction of the Fed’s next move as economic data and inflation have been more robust than expected. 

 

According to Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street, this presents an opportunity with high-yield bonds given that yields are at attractive levels while a strong economy indicates that defaults will remain low. So far this year, high-yield bonds have outperformed with a slight positive return, while the iShares Core US Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG) and Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND) are down YTD.

 

This is a contrarian trade as high-yield bond ETFs have had $387 million of outflows YTD, while fixed income ETFs have had $2.8 billion of net inflows YTD. It’s also a way for fixed income investors to bet that the US economy continues to defy skeptics and avoid a recession despite the Fed’s aggressive rate hikes. 

 

Currently, high-yield bonds have an average spread of 338 basis points vs Treasuries. Many of the most popular high-yield ETFs have effective durations between 3 and 4 years which means there is less rate risk. Spreads have remained relatively tight and could widen in the event of the economy slowing. 


Finsum: High-yield ETFs are offering an interesting opportunity given attractive yields. This segment of the fixed income market also is benefiting from recently strong economic data which indicates that default rates will remain low.

 

Published in Bonds: Total Market
Wednesday, 21 February 2024 13:45

Bitcoin ETFs: A Rocky Start, Now Soaring Demand

The highly anticipated launch of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in early January was met with a wave of excitement, with investors eager to gain exposure to this burgeoning asset class. However, their enthusiasm was quickly dampened as Bitcoin's price took a hit, dropping nearly 13% in the following days.

Despite the rocky start, a sense of cautious optimism has returned to the ETF space. Bitcoin's recent price surge has reignited investor interest, fueling a significant increase in inflows into these funds. CoinShares, a leading crypto asset management firm, reported (02/19/24) a record-breaking $2.4 billion flowing into Bitcoin ETFs last week, representing a remarkable turnaround.

This renewed demand presents a unique challenge for financial advisors. With clients increasingly inquiring about the potential role of Bitcoin ETFs in their portfolios, advisors need to navigate the complex landscape of this new asset class. While these ETFs offer a convenient way to gain exposure to Bitcoin, their inherent volatility demands careful consideration. Unlike traditional investment options, Bitcoin exhibits significant price fluctuations, making it a riskier proposition for many investors.


Finsum: Bitcoin ETFs got off to a rocky start in January, but flows into these funds are recovering remarkably as the cryptocurrency’s price soars.

 

Published in Wealth Management
Page 4 of 63

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