Displaying items by tag: fixed income

Tuesday, 31 January 2023 05:36

Pension Funds Eyeing $1 Trillion of Bond-Buying

After struggling under deficits for two decades, pension funds are now flooded with cash due to soaring interest rates. The surplus at corporate defined-benefit plans means managers can now reallocate to bonds, which are less volatile than stocks. This is called “derisking” in the industry. Mike Schumacher, head of macro strategy at Wells Fargo, said the following in an interview, “The pensions are in good shape. They can now essentially immunize — take out the equities, move into bonds, and try to have assets match liabilities.” That explains some of the rallying of the bond market over the last three or four weeks.” Last year’s stock and bond market losses actually helped some benefit plans, whose future costs are a function of interest rates. When rates rise, their liabilities shrink and their funded status improves. For instance, the largest 100 US corporate pension plans now have an average funding ratio of about 110%. According to the Milliman 100 Pension Funding index, that’s the highest level in more than two decades and great news for fund managers who had to deal with low-interest rates and were forced to chase returns in the equity market. Now managers can unwind that imbalance with most banks expecting them to use the extra cash on buying bonds and selling stocks to buy more bonds.


Finsum: Due to stock and bond losses and rising rates, pension fund managers now have a surplus of funds that they plan on allocating to bonds. 

Published in Bonds: Total Market
Sunday, 29 January 2023 03:41

Fidelity Launches Tactical Bond ETF

Fidelity expanded its active fixed-income ETF lineup with the launch of the Fidelity Tactical Bond ETF (FTBD). FTBD, which now trades on the NYSE Arca, has an expense ratio of 0.55%. The fund is co-managed by Jeffrey Moore and Michael Plage and is measured against the Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index. The fund's portfolio can be allocated across the full spectrum of the debt market, including investment-grade, high-yield, and emerging markets debt securities across different maturities. Managers will consider the credit quality of the issuer, security-specific features, current and potential future valuation, and trading opportunities to select investments. The launch brings Fidelity’s lineup to 12 active fixed-income ETFs with about $3.9 billion in assets under management. Jamie Pagliocco, Fidelity’s Head of Fixed Income told VettaFi that “Fidelity is committed to offering investors choice and providing a diverse lineup of investment solutions. Fidelity’s fixed income lineup combines our extensive investment capabilities and expertise as an active manager to provide investors with a range of solutions across the fixed income risk spectrum and vehicle type, and Fidelity Tactical Bond ETF provides investors with another competitive offering to further expand client vehicle choice.”


Finsum:Fidelity expands its lineup of actively managed fixed-income ETFs with the launch of the Fidelity Tactical Bond ETF which can invest across the full spectrum of the debt market.

Published in Bonds: Total Market

Putnam recently announced the launch of five new transparent, actively managed exchange-traded funds, including three fixed-income ETFs that build upon the capabilities and experience of the firm’s Fixed Income team. The bond ETFs include the Putnam ESG Core Bond ETF (PCRB), the Putnam ESG High Yield ETF (PHYD), and the Putnam ESG Ultra Short ETF (PULT). As part of the announcement, Carlo Forcione, Head of Product and Strategy at Putnam stated, “We are enthused about extending our ETF product shelf into the actively managed fixed income and non-U.S. equity spaces.” PCRB invests in bonds of governments and private companies located in the United States that are investment grade in quality with intermediate- to long-term maturities with a focus on issuers that Putnam believes meet relevant ESG criteria. PHYD invests in bonds that are below investment grade in quality which are obligations of U.S. issuers and have intermediate- to long-term maturities. The fund will also focus on issuers that Putnam believes meet relevant ESG criteria on a sector-specific basis. PULT invests in a diversified portfolio of fixed-income securities composed of short-duration, investment-grade money market, and other fixed-income securities, with a focus on issuers that the firm believes meet relevant ESG criteria on a sector-specific basis.


Finsum:Putnam recently launched three actively managed bond ETFs, including the Putnam ESG Core Bond ETF, the Putnam ESG High Yield ETF, and the Putnam ESG Ultra Short ETF.

Published in Bonds: Total Market
Wednesday, 25 January 2023 12:31

Investors Jumping into Bond ETFs to Start the Year

Last week, over $10.2 billion went into U.S.-listed ETFs, with the majority going into fixed-income funds. Bond ETFs pulled in $4.5 billion according to ETF.com data. This followed the previous week’s $7.8 billion in inflows that went into bond funds. In the first week in January, fixed-income products pulled in $9.4 billion, a jump from $1.5 billion in the last week of December. Investors are flocking to fixed-income exchange-traded funds as recession warnings ring louder. Investors are jumping from stocks to bonds as they are often seen as a safer investment during economic downturns. Earlier in the month, Bloomberg News reported that Wall Street firms are sounding the alarm for a recession in 2023. BlackRock’s Investment Institute stated that “a recession is foretold,” while Barclays is predicting “one of the weakest years for the world economy in 40 years.” This also comes after multiple Fed officials have predicted interest rates remain elevated for the foreseeable future. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President Mary Daly said in a streamed interview with the Wall Street Journal a couple of weeks ago that “I think something above 5[.0%] is absolutely, in my judgment, going to be likely.” Her comments come a week after Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari stated that the “central bank’s so-called terminal rate could reach as high as 5.4% before easing,” in a post on Medium.


Finsum:As Wall Street firms sound the alarm on a potential recession, investors are flocking to fixed-income ETFs, which are seen as safer investments during economic downturns.

Published in Bonds: Total Market

According to Vanguard, investors that allocated part of their portfolios to low-yielding municipal bonds at the beginning of last year should now be looking forward to the prospect of higher income, thanks to a rapid rise in rates. In a fixed-income report for the first quarter, the fund firm wrote, “Following a year with $119 billion of outflows from municipal funds and ETFs, we expect the tide to turn. For high-income taxable investors, we are expecting a municipal bond renaissance.” According to the report, muni bonds only offered yields of around 1% at the start of 2022, compared to yields that now exceed 3% before adjusting for tax benefits. Tax-equivalent yields are at 6% or even “meaningfully higher for residents in high-tax states who invest in corresponding state funds.” Vanguard said that this makes munis a “great value compared with other fixed income sectors and potentially even equities—especially with the odds of a recession increasing.” According to the Vanguard report, muni bonds also remain strong from a credit perspective, with attractive spreads over comparable U.S. Treasurys and corporate debt. In fact, municipal balance sheets are stronger now than they’ve been in two decades, leaving states well-prepared to navigate an economic slowdown.


Finsum:According to Vanguard, higher yields and solid balance sheets make muni bonds a highly attractive option for investors this year.

Published in Bonds: Munis
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