Displaying items by tag: fixed income
Active management in its groove
Last year, active was the operative word, as passive management stared into the taillights of fixed income active managers, according to bsdinvesting.com.
In the midst of the Fed’s policy change and a rejuiced market, active management improved markedly in the second half of the year. Over the last two quarters, an average of 60% of active managers outdid passive management.
Meantime, in January, while Vanguard noted that additional volatility appeared to be in the cards this year, for active management, it foresaw a bigger opportunity for it to strut its stuff.
The decisions of active sector and security selection should carry a bigger stick in a market holding its own against macroeconomic forces or taking a back seat to central banks.
Across most segments, appealing yields are attainable, including some of the best value in higher quality bonds. Even in the face of watered down economic conditions, it should hold its own.
American Century Launches Active Floating Rate Income ETF
American Century Investments recently launched a new actively managed fixed-income ETF targeting floating-rate debt securities. The American Century Multisector Floating Income ETF (FUSI) trades on the NYSE Arca and has an expense ratio of 0.27%. FUSI seeks to complement an investor's core bond holdings with current income, broad diversification, and the potential to mitigate the impact of rising rates. The ETF invests across various floating rate security segments including collateralized loan obligations (CLOs), commercial mortgages, residential mortgages, corporate credit, and other similarly structured investments. Plus, up to 35% of the portfolio may be allocated to high-yield securities including bank loans and other lower-rated floating-rate debt. Managers Charles Tan, Jason Greenblath, and Peter Van Gelderen build the ETF’s portfolio using a sector rotation approach that combines macroeconomic inputs, technical analysis of the relative value among various sectors, and fundamental research on individual securities. As part of the launch, Sandra Testani, Vice President of ETF Product and Strategy, stated, “FUSI compliments our current ETF income.” She also noted that “We believe a diversified floating rate mandate has the potential to mitigate downside risk and increase income, and we are excited to offer this on our ETF platform.”
Finsum:American Century recently launched the actively managed American Century Multisector Floating Income ETF (FUSI), which invests across various floating rate security segments such as CLOs, commercial mortgages, residential mortgages, and corporate credit.
Goldman Sachs Launches First Muni ETF
Goldman Sachs Asset Management recently launched the Goldman Sachs Community Municipal Bond ETF (GMUN). The ETF, which trades on the NYSE Arca, seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the Bloomberg Goldman Sachs Community Municipal Index, a rules-based index designed to track the municipal securities market with remaining maturities between one and 15 years. The ETF also has screens that consider certain social or environmental factors. By focusing on 1-to-15-year maturities within the investment grade municipal bond universe, the portfolio will seek to deliver diversified market exposure with lower duration and higher credit quality than the broader municipal market. The ETF is managed by Goldman’s Municipal Fixed Income team which brings decades of experience with an active and disciplined approach to investing in a market that is vast and fragmented. The fund has an expense ratio of 0.25%. According to Goldman, targeted allocation into municipalities and projects with positive impact will provide the opportunity to invest in education, healthcare, clean energy, and more community-related initiatives.
Finsum:Goldman recently launched its first muni ETF, the Goldman Sachs Community Municipal Bond ETF (GMUN), which provides exposure to tax-exempt municipal securities with remaining maturities between one and 15 years.
Banking Crisis Roiling Agency Mortgage Bond Market
Concerns over the banking sector are currently making things rough in the $8 trillion agency mortgage bond market. Agency mortgage bonds are widely held by banks, bond funds, and insurers as they are backed by mortgage loans from government-controlled lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They are far less likely to default than most debt. They are also easy to buy and sell quickly, which is why they were Silicon Valley Bank’s biggest investment before its troubles. However, agency mortgage bonds are vulnerable to rising interest rates like all long-term bonds. This pushed their prices down last year and also saddled banks such as Silicon Valley Bank. In fact, the risk premium on a widely followed Bloomberg index of agency MBS hit its highest level since October last week, as climbing interest rates led to volatile global markets. According to bond fund managers, this certainly reflected fears that other regional banks might have to sell their holdings. When benchmark interest rates rise, bonds that were sold at times of lower rates lose value. For instance, prices of low-coupon agency mortgage bonds started dropping about a year ago, when the Fed raised interest rates to tame inflation and also indicated that it might start selling the mortgage bonds that it owned.
Finsum:With faltering banks such as Silicon Valley Bank holding large amounts of agency mortgage bonds, the turmoil in the banking industry is roiling the $8 trillion agency mortgage bond market.
Long-dated Treasuries' Bad Year Likely a One-off
When stocks are down like they were last year, investors usually look towards treasuries for safety. But last year was unlike any other year. While the S&P 500 fell 18%, the Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond index slumped 13%. However, a year like 2022 is unlikely to happen again any time soon. According to analysts, that leaves “room for those bonds to reclaim their role as a core risk-off allocation for asset owners this year.” For example, when SVB Financial Group recently announced hefty losses, the S&P 500 index fell 3.4% between March 8th and March 13th. But investors looking for a safe haven in long-dated Treasuries sent yields plunging, providing bondholders with a gain of more than 4%. Many analysts expect the conditions that led to close correlations between the stock and bond market “to prove ephemeral.” According to Jason Vaillancourt, global macro strategist with Putnam Investments, the biggest risk for those strong correlations is when "The Fed gets really fired up to fight inflation, as with the central bank's 'uh-oh' moment last year — when inflationary pressures it had deemed transitory proved anything but, forcing the central bank to shift aggressively to catch-up mode.” He added, “With the Fed frontloading its fight against inflation last year, the conditions required to maintain correlations at 1 this year are unlikely to persist.”
Finsum:With the Fed front-loading its fight against inflation last year, the conditions that led to a high correlation between the stock and bonds markets, aren’t likely to persist.