Rates are rising, and with it, investors need to take a closer look at their portfolios. Rising rates can have serious effects on some dividend-focused sectors, such as utilities, REITs, or consumer discretionary, and most bonds. With that in mind, here is an ETF to help combat rising rates. One fixed income ETF built for the current rate environment is the iShares Interest Rate Hedged Corp Bd ETF (LQDH). What makes this ETF special versus others is that it is actively managed and has longer-term fixed income exposures, which stands in sharp contrast to the mostly short-term bonds these funds typically hold. It holds a 3.62% yield and charges 0.24% per year.
FINSUM: That seems a good expense ratio and yield given that this is an actively managed fund. Interest rate hedged ETFs seem like a good idea right now given the strong economy and increasingly hawkish Fed.
Small cap stocks have been taking it on the chin. They have been getting hammered this week, and their performance (Russell 2000) has lagged the S&P 500 by almost 3% the last few days. That is a rare occurrence, which means there may be a buying opportunity. After such a bout of bad performance, the Russell 2000 has historically outperformed the S&P 500 by a percentage point over the next 20 days.
FINSUM: This could be a good short-term buying opportunity, but as ever, we struggle with these kinds of trade ideas because they seem to be based purely on historical precedent and lack any catalyst.
Rates are rising and new statements out of the Fed make it seem like the central bank could become more aggressive with its hike. With that in mind, the Wall Street Journal thinks it is time to adjust portfolios to account for a hawkish Fed. The biggest recommendation that the WSJ makes is that investors in retirement should keep a healthy allocation to stocks. Even though rates are rising, yields may not get high enough quickly enough to provide good returns. Accordingly, keeping a solid portion of capital in equity seems smart, but don’t swing for the fences. Next, make sure to stay very diversified to mitigate risks, and particularly, beware rate sensitive sectors like utilities or REITs.
FINSUM: This is sound advice, though nothing that would not be second nature for an advisor.
Treasury yields stayed pinned for most of this year. For many months it seemed like they were stuck in the ~2.85% range. This raised some hopes that we might have reached the crest in this hiking and rate rise cycle. However, Treasury yields have jumped considerably higher lately, and are now sitting close to their seven-year high of 3.11% from May. Yields have been moving higher as the trouble in emerging markets and Italy has waned, making investors turn to more pro-risk investments.
FINSUM: Yields are going to move in line with macroeconomic movements, especially right now. If the trade war worsens, or starts to show signs of hurting EM economies, expect a big retreat in yields.