Displaying items by tag: ETFs

Monday, 12 February 2024 05:20

Vanguard’s Outlook for Active Fixed Income

In 2023, yields started where they ended, although there was considerable volatility in between. Notably, yields dropped sharply following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in the spring amid concerns that it would spark a greater crisis. And, yields spiked in autumn with the 10-year Treasury yield exceeding 5% following an uptick in inflation.


In hindsight, this marked the bottom for fixed income as the Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Index gained nearly 10% between the end of October and the new year. Looking ahead, Vanguard believes this strong performance will continue in 2024. 


In terms of its outlook, it sees inflation ending the year just above the Fed’s 2% target. It believes the Fed will ease policy, although they don’t see rates returning to the same lows as the previous cycle. It also sees the yield curve steepening as short-term rates fall further. 


The firm also acknowledges some risks to its outlook such as the economy continuing to be bumpy even within the context of a slowdown which could lead to false signals. Credit spreads have remained tight which means that there is greater risk in the event of a recession. High deficits mean that Treasury supply will be plentiful, adding upwards pressure to yields. Finally, inflation could re-ignite especially given geopolitical risks and prevent the Fed from easing even if the economy warranted it. 

Finsum: Many active fixed income funds are being launched with a specialized focus on a particular niche. These funds have outperformed amid the volatility in the fixed income market. 



Published in Bonds: Total Market
Friday, 09 February 2024 05:35

How Model Portfolios Can Help Advisors

Assets under management, tied to model portfolios, are forecast to exceed $10 trillion by 2025. Some reasons for the category’s growth include increasing awareness and comfort among clients, a wider range of options that are enabling customization, and the advantages for financial advisors.


Currently, 70% of model portfolios are asset allocation models. Some advisors choose a hybrid approach with some of the portfolio allocated according to models with some portion remaining discretionary. Another important choice is whether there is an open or closed architecture. With an open architecture, advisors can allocate to a variety of funds, while closed architecture means that funds are from an individual asset manager. 

A growing segment is outcome-oriented models which can help clients achieve a precise goal such as generating income, reducing risk, or minimizing taxes. This is another way that model portfolios can achieve greater customization while still retaining the core benefits for advisors. 


Overall, model portfolios are rapidly gaining traction due to their ability to provide sophisticated solutions for advisors and clients. For advisors, it frees up more time and resources to spend on growing and managing the business while also deepening the relationship with clients. 


Finsum: Model portfolios are forecast to exceed $10 trillion in assets in 2025. Here are some of the reasons the category is growing so fast. 


Published in Wealth Management

For income-seeking investors, navigating the often volatile capital markets can be a tightrope walk between yield and stability. Enter income-producing ETFs, a potent blend of diversification and dependable returns. These innovative funds package high-yielding assets into a single, tradable security, offering investors a steady income stream without the burden of individual security selection.


One of the key strengths of income-producing ETFs lies in their inherent diversification. By spreading investments across a basket of assets, they mitigate the risks associated with individual maturities or underperformance. This eliminates the headache of reinvesting maturing bonds at potentially lower rates, a common pitfall for fixed-income investors.


Furthermore, income-producing ETFs typically hold less cash than their mutual fund counterparts. This seemingly minor distinction translates to a potentially significant advantage: reduced cash drag. Unlike mutual funds, which often require a cash cushion to facilitate redemptions, ETFs minimize uninvested capital, ensuring a greater portion of your portfolio actively generates income within its intended asset class.


Financial advisors seeking to craft reliable income streams for their clients should consider income-producing ETFs as a possible solution. They provide instant diversification, mitigate reinvestment risk, and maximize income potential through reduced cash drag.

Finsum: Income-producing ETFs can provide both diversification and steady returns with reduced reinvestment risk and cash drag.

Published in Bonds: Total Market
Tuesday, 06 February 2024 05:45

Fixed Income ETF Flows Favoring Longer Duration

The era of high yields has led to a significant boost of inflows into fixed income ETFs. Last year, short duration bond ETFs were the biggest recipient of inflows, but this started to change at the end of last year. Inflation started to move closer to the Fed’s 2% target, and the market began to price in rate cuts in 2024.

So, investors have been moving further out in the curve into intermediate and longer-duration fixed income ETFs to lock in yields for a longer period of time. One example of this can be seen in BondBloxx ETFs.

For instance, the BondBloxx Bloomberg Ten Year Target Duration US Treasury ETF has seen $49 million of inflows YTD. This is more than 50% of net inflows over all of last year. In contrast, the BondBloxx Bloomberg Six Month Target Duration US Treasury ETF only has $17 million of net inflows YTD, while it had $904 million of inflows last year. 

BondBloxx has also seen similar flows from its 1 Year and 2 Year duration-focused Treasury ETFs. To appeal to fixed income investors seeking longer duration exposure, the firm recently launched 3 high-yield corporate bond ETFs with time frames of 1-5 years, 5-10 years, and more than 10 years. 

Finsum: Flows into fixed income ETFs remain strong in 2024, but one definite change is that investors are favoring intermediate and longer-duration ETFs in anticipation of the Fed cutting rates.    


Published in Bonds: Total Market

With a strong recovery in fixed income over the past couple of months, fixed income fund managers are looking to generate inflows from the nearly $6 trillion that is sitting in money market funds. Some portions will certainly move into fixed income especially if interest rates start to move lower, and investors look to move further out on the curve to take advantage of still attractive yields.


Due to this, active fixed income funds delivered their biggest monthly returns in decades, leading to a surge of inflows. Recent economic data and chatter from FOMC officials have also been supportive of the asset class.


The challenge for managers is the explosion in active fixed income funds over the last few years, leading to price wars for market share and consolidation. Many are from the largest asset managers like Vanguard, State Street, and Blackrock, which have very low costs. Funds that aren’t able to sufficiently attract inflows over this period will only face more difficulties in the future in remaining viable. 


According to Rich Kushel, the head of Blackrock’s portfolio management group, “We are in a winner-takes-a-lot moment. If you’re truly adding real alpha, there will always be a place for you in this industry. For the folks who haven’t, you might as well buy [the benchmark].”

Finsum: There is nearly $6 trillion on the sidelines. Some of this will move into fixed income especially if rates start dropping. There will be intense competition among active funds to be a recipient of these inflows. 


Published in Bonds: Total Market
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