Sat, Feb. 21, 8:54 AM
- Is the ubiquitous Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index (ETF version: AGG) due for an upgrade? Up to 90% of the Agg's risk is tied to changes in interest rates, figures BlackRock, with the other 10% linked to credit.
- The coming iShares Fixed Income Balanced Risk ETF (INC) will split the risk evenly between rates and credit - in other words, writes Chris Dieterich, it aims to be equally sensitive to the underlying economy as it is to interest rates. To accomplish this, the fund will own more corporate bonds, and alongside Treasurys, it will hold derivatives to hedge against them.
- Morningstar's Ben Johnson wouldn't mind an upgrade to the Agg, but figures more straightforward innovations could work best. One example is the iShares Core Total USD Bond Market ETF (NYSEARCA:IUSB), which launched last year. It's similar to the Barclays benchmark, but also includes high-yield paper and certain foreign bonds. "Does some better than the Agg have to be something that's complex ... It's a fine line between stupid and clever."
- ETFs: AGG, BND, BOND, SCHZ, LAG, SAGG, GBF, FBND, IUSB, VBND
Mon, Feb. 9, 5:08 PM
- January saw a record $17B of net outflows from stock ETPs, according to ETFGI, with fixed income and commodity funds seeing much of that money - inflows of $7.5B and $4.1B respectively.
- The moves came as the S&P 500 fell a big 4% for the month and bond prices shot higher.
- ETFs: AGG, BND, BOND, VV, SCHX, SCHZ, FEX, GTAA, AOK, JKD, AOM, AOR, EEH, LAG, RLY, EQL, EPRO, GAL, DBIZ, MATH, SAGG, IWL, GBF, FBND, GIVE, ERW, FWDD, IUSB, SYE, VBND, GAA, SBUS, ZLRG
Thu, Jan. 29, 3:24 PM
- Comparing the U.S. economy to the game of Monopoly, Bill Gross says capitalism depends on those with capital hoping they can earn a positive return, and that by holding rates too low for too long, the Fed has crushed that hope.
- The central bank, however, has begun to recognize the distortions it's created, and will begin hiking "the Monopoly board's interest rates" late this year, "hoping to avoid landing on the figurative Park Place and Boardwalk in the process."
- "Bonds, despite their ridiculous yields, will not be easily threatened with a new bear market."
- Investment Outlook
- ETFs: AGG, BND, BOND, SCHZ, LAG, SAGG, GBF, FBND, IUSB, VBND
Tue, Jan. 6, 12:30 PM
- "Beware the Ides of March, or the Ides of any month in 2015 for that matter," writes Bill Gross in his latest investment outlook. "When the year is done, there will be minus signs in front of returns for many asset classes."
- There comes a time, says Gross, when zero-based or even negative yields fail to generate decent economic growth. Yes, we can get rallies in bond prices and P/E ratios, but the effect on real growth diminishes or even reverses. Corporations take advantage by borrowing at low rates, but take the money and buy back stock, rather than invest in the real economy.
- What to buy? High-quality assets with stable cash flows: Treasurys and investment-grade corporates, as well as the common stock of companies with attractive dividends and diversified revenue streams.
- ETFs: AGG, BND, BOND, SCHZ, LAG, SAGG, DI, GBF, FBND, LDUR, FWDB, IUSB, VBND
Dec. 18, 2014, 12:11 PM
- Oil price drops similar or greater in magnitude than what's recently been seen have occurred a number of times over the past 30 years, say new Pimco CIO Daniel Ivascyn along with Saumil Parikh. Some have coincided with major recessions and others with faster global growth. So what gives for 2015?
- The short answer: This drop in oil is supply-, not demand-driven, they conclude, and thus should foster faster economic growth than otherwise next year.
- As for inflation, expect negative headline prints in developed economies next year, but these should bounce back later in 2015 and into the following year.
- Investment themes: 1) The outlook for easier monetary policy (in all but the U.S.) has been priced in, making for limited upside for high-quality duration 2) TIPS are attractive as their prices have more than discounted the coming negative inflation prints 3) Globally, eurozone peripheral bonds are the pick 4) In the U.S. non-agency mortgages (see Ivascyn's PDI) are poised for outperformance, but agency paper is overvalued, particularly as the Fed's purchases have ended.
- Ivascyn also manages the Pimco Income Fund (MUTF:PONAX) and (formerly managed by Bill Gross) the Pimco Unconstrained Bond Fund (MUTF:PUBAX).
- ETFs: AGG, BND, BOND, SCHZ, LAG, SAGG, DI, GBF, FBND, LDUR, FWDB, IUSB, VBND, TIP, VTIP, SCHP, IPE, LTPZ, STPZ, TIPZ, STIP, TPS, TDTT, TIPX, TDTF, SIPE
Dec. 12, 2014, 1:04 PM
- "The Fed, as the central banker of the world, has to worry about financial conditions not just in the United States, but the world," Bill Gross tells Bloomberg. "They should be very cautious about any tightening implications."
- Gross' comments come as oil crashes, equities and high-yield turn shaky, and the EU debt crisis shows signs of refreshing, and ahead of the FOMC's two-day meeting next week at which many expect the "considerable time" language to be removed from the policy statement - suggesting a rate hike within maybe six months.
- ETFs: AGG, BND, BOND, SCHZ, LAG, SAGG, DI, GBF, YPRO, FBND, BYLD, LDUR, FWDB, IUSB, VBND
Dec. 1, 2014, 11:04 AM
- "Lowflation" - inflation running at below-target rates - will be the major theme for the next twelve months, says Morgan Stanley's Joachim Fels, presenting his bank's 2015 global outlook. "Markets no longer believe that central banks will be able to bring inflation back to target any time soon. The longer this lasts, the more self-fulfilling these prophecies become."
- For evidence, look no further than the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield plumbing new lows on a daily basis (2.17% at last check) despite better economic growth data and promises of rate hikes in mid-2015. Then there's Germany (0.69%), Italy (1.99%), Spain (1.83%), and the U.K. (1.89%).
- Taking a variant viewpoint to most in the business, Morgan Stanley sees no Fed rate hike in 2015. As for the ECB, the bank puts the chances of full-blown QE at 50%, up from 40% previously. Easier policy should also be coming from central banks in China, India, and South Korea.
- ETFs: AGG, BND, BOND, SHY, SCHZ, BIL, VGSH, LAG, PLW, SHV, GOVT, SCHO, SAGG, DTUS, DI, GBF, SST, DTUL, FBND, TUZ, LDUR, FWDB, IUSB, TAPR, VBND
Nov. 24, 2014, 11:18 AM
- Potential bond buyers are set to spend a net $2.4T next year, but borrowers will issue just $2T, according to JPMorgan. It will be the fifth time in seven years demand has outpaced supply, including about a $500B gap this year.
- What's going on here? Central banks. "There's really not been much supply hitting the market," says Nomura's George Goncalves. The ECB is set to buy about $400B in bonds next year, and the BOJ will add at least $700B, says JPMorgan. The BOJ owns about 20% of outstanding JGBs, and that proportion could rise to 50% as soon as 2018, according to the top economist at Japan Macro Advisors.
- ETFs: AGG, BND, BOND, SCHZ, LAG, SAGG, GBF, RIGS, DI, FBND, LDUR, FWDB, IUSB, VBND
Nov. 17, 2014, 12:46 PM
- Gluttons for punishment, bond bears are at it again, as - asked in a Bloomberg poll to choose just one asset class to short - 45% choose some sort of fixed-income product. That amount is three times the percentage who selected gold, and also higher than that of stocks, commodities, currencies, and real estate.
- “For rates to go a lot lower in the U.S. from the point they are trading at right now, things would have to go very bad in terms of growth,” says a money manager, neatly summing up the conventional wisdom.
- ETFs: AGG, BND, BOND, BIV, BLV, SCHZ, LAG, SAGG, ILTB, GBF, GVI, YPRO, FBND, BYLD, IUSB, AGND, AGZD, VBND
Oct. 30, 2014, 1:51 PM
- U.S-listed fixed-income ETFs are set to record their biggest monthly inflow on record, with BlackRock data showing inflows through Wednesday of $17.4B, which would top February's $17B.
- Those in the loop say a large chunk of that is money exiting Pimco's Total Return fund in the wake of Bill Gross' departure. They note a surge in trading volume in short-term government bond ETFs and board-market trackers which more or less act as cash substitutes. Those funds soaking up the bulk of the money this month: SHY, AGG, and BND.
- BlackRock's (NYSE:BLK) head of fixed-income strategy at its iShares unit Matt Tucker says his people have been talking to clients about using AGG as a bridge position while they figure out which manager they now want to stick with.
- ETFs: AGG, BOND, BND, SCHZ, LAG, SAGG, GBF, FBND, IUSB, VBND
Oct. 16, 2014, 4:23 PM
- The Vident Core U.S. Bond Strategy ETF (Pending:VBND) is the third fund by Vident Financial, LLC, launched just a year after its first fund, the Vident International Equity ETF (NASDAQ:VIDI).
- VBND will track a variety of domestic fixed income securities using an index which systematically over or underweights each sector based on macroeconomics and valuation.
- "Fixed income is a critical asset class in our client's portfolios and we set out to address some of the risk challenges they are facing in the core of their fixed income portfolio," said Nick Stonestreet, Chief Executive Officer of Vident Financial, in a press release.
- Other broad fixed income ETFs: AGG, BOND, BND, SCHZ, LAG, SAGG, GBF, FBND, IUSB
Oct. 15, 2014, 3:25 PM
- U.S.-based mutual funds saw $4.6B in outflows from taxable bond funds for the week ended October 8, according to ICI. This was less than the $21B withdrawn - the largest amount since records began being kept in 2007 - in the few days immediately after Gross exited Pimco and its mammoth Total Return Fund.
- Of course, while investors mull where to put that money now that Gross is no longer at the helm, fixed-income has undergone a major rally - the Total Return Fund itself is up more than 1% since the start of October.
- ETFs: AGG, BOND, BND, SCHZ, LAG, SAGG, GBF, FBND, IUSB
Oct. 9, 2014, 1:31 PM
- The Fidelity Total Bond ETF (Pending:FBND), the Fidelity Limited Term Bond ETF (Pending:FLTB) and the Fidelity Corporate Bond ETF (Pending:FCOR), the first actively managed bond exchange-traded funds from Fidelity Investments, began trading this morning.
- Fidelity's timing could not have been better, with many investors, shaken by Bill Gross's departure from PIMCO, may be searching the market for new investment options.
- “I would say the timing of our launch is fortunate; however, this is part of a really well-thought-out long-term strategy around ETFs,” said Scott E. Couto, president of Fidelity Financial Advisor Solutions.
- Other total market ETFs: AGG, BOND, BND, SCHZ, LAG, SAGG, GBF, IUSB
- Other short term ETFs: BSV, ISTB, MINC
- Other corporate bond ETFs: LQD, CORP, CRED, QLTA, IGS, COBO, CBND, QLTB, IGU
Sep. 19, 2014, 3:54 PM
- The Long Duration Total Return Bond Fund will have a dollar-weighted average effective duration of at least 10 years and will invest "in debt securities of any kind." Jeff Gundlach - who will be the fund's manager - has said he sees little amiss with interest rates at these low levels, and doesn't expect much of a rise from here.
- In addition to Treasurys, the fund's mandate allows for investments in MBS, CMOs, corporate debt (IG and HY), and overseas paper, among other instruments.
- Broad fixed income ETFs: AGG, BOND, BND, SCHZ, LAG, SAGG, GBF, IUSB
Jul. 29, 2014, 3:11 PM
- "The market is very complacent right now in terms of the valuations," says Matthew Eagan, co-manager of the Loomis Sayles Bond Fund. Along with co-managers Dan Fuss and Elaine Stokes, Eagan has doubled its short-term U.S. and Canadian debt holdings to 27% of AUM - a bet government bond rates are about to move higher.
- "The global economy is strong enough to support the Fed’s decision to continue the taper and eventually raise rates by the middle of 2015," says Eagan. "We want to be prepared for that to happen."
- Eagan's fund has outperformed 98% of its peers over the last five years.
- In today's action - as the FOMC is in day one of its 2-day meeting - the 10-year Treasury yield continues go its own way - off another three basis points to 2.46%. TLT +0.4%, TBT -0.8%
- ETFs: AGG, BOND, BND, SCHZ, LAG, SAGG, GBF, IUSB
Jun. 12, 2014, 9:25 AM
- The quest for yield reaches a new level with London fast food outlet Chilango finding fast demand for its Burrito Bonds, which offer those who invest £10K a free burrito weekly for the life of the debt.
- The company is trying to raise £1M for expansion and hit 32% of its target goal two days after the bond opened. Other than the free lunch, the four-year paper has an 8% coupon.
- ETFs: AGG, BOND, BND, SCHZ, LAG, SAGG, DI, GBF, LDUR, FWDB
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