2023 has been quite different compared to 2022 especially from a financial markets perspective. Due to raging inflation and a hawkish Fed, 2022 saw weakness in both stocks and bonds. In contrast, both asset classes have delivered positive returns in 2023 YTD despite significant and continued headwinds.
This is particularly the case for active fixed income. In an article for the Financial Times, Madison Darbyshire and Harriet Agnew highlight how large asset managers have been increasing allocations to the category as they look to lock in higher rates with the Fed in the final innings of its rate hikes. Analysts are noting demand from institutional and retail investors, across the active fixed income spectrum.
In 2022, $332 billion moved out of the category, but 2023 has already seen inflows of $100 billion in the first third of the year. This trend is expected to only strengthen with active fixed income ETFs expected to continue taking a larger share of the fixed income and ETF universes. According to State Street CEO Yie-Hsin Hung, "It feels like the beginning stages of what happened in equities.”
Finsum: After a poor 2022, inflows into active fixed income are sharply higher as they look to lock in higher rates given the end of the Fed’s tightening and increasing odds of a recession.