Bonds: IG

Macro conditions have left many investors skittish regarding the future of fixed income funds, but BlackRock is firm in its belief in the future of Fixed Income ETFs. BR said that despite headwinds from rising rates and inflation they expect bond ETFs to surpass $2 trillion in the next year and a half and to hit $5 trillion by 2030. While the current environment doesn’t make investors ecstatic about the bond market future, many overlook the traditional role they fill in a portfolio: stability. That resilience especially during volatility and the ultra-low rate environment has proved useful enough for many investors.

Finsum: ETF trends have been amplified by the pandemic and will be enduring moving forward.

Most fixed income ETFs used to be linked to passive tracking products in the bond market, that is until more recently. Rules Adopted by the US SEC have steered many investors to active fixed income by making it easier to launch new active ETFs. Active funds are attractive for ETF producers because they draw higher fees (about .2 percent) than active funds. This has led to an explosion in active fixed income. Active bond fund creation is growing at nearly double the rate of the rest of the ETF market, and investors are ready as well as 2021 saw a record pace of inflows. One big factor in shifting more investors into active fixed income is aging global demographics which are still searching for yield and income.

Finsum: The world’s aging population is creating a safe asset shortage and pushing bond prices higher.

Everyone and their dog has been pivoting to ultra-short duration pseudo-cash bond ETFs in the fixed income balance of their portfolio and this is causing a sell-off of lots of corporate bond ETFs. LQD saw its fifth day of outflows which set a pandemic era record. This brought together a total of $856 million in investor outflows. This is part of a blogger trend where sentiment around investment-grade bonds is weakening. However, it's not because they are less likely to pay back but more a reflection of investment-grade corporate debt generally having a longer duration, which is the risk investors don’t want with upcoming rate hikes.

Finsum: The risk premium hasn’t changed with corporate debt just the term structure risk. Fundamentally these bonds could still be in a good place.

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