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AGG vs. ETF Alternatives
The iShares Core Total U.S. Bond Market ETF (the “Fund”) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index.
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Country: United States
Wed, Jul. 2, 10:44 AM
- Bill Gross had a hot hand in June, the Total Return Fund returning 0.37% vs. the benchmark Barclays Aggregate Bond Index return of 0.05%, but investors pulled another $4.5B from the Pimco flagship offering, cutting total AUM to $229B.
- The ETF equivalent BOND also outperformed the AGG during June, and is doing better by 120 basis points YTD.
- Pimco parent: Allianz (AZSEY) is lower by 7% YTD.
Tue, Jul. 1, 11:30 AM| Tue, Jul. 1, 11:30 AM | Comment!
Thu, Jun. 12, 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
Tue, Jun. 10, 3:47 PM
- It may not be the top for fixed-income, but "Bond Market Shortfall of $460B Seen Boosting Debt Markets" is the sort of headline you won't see at the bottom. The article from Bloomberg takes note of a JPMorgan analysis expecting debt issued this year to fall $600M from 2013 to $1.8T, while demand increases to $2.26T.
- Globally, bonds have returned 3.7% YTD, their best start to the year since 2003, according to the BAML Global Broad Market Index.
- "Everybody was expecting supply to come down, but maybe it’s coming down sooner” than anticipated, says SEI Investment's Sean Simko. “There’s a shift in sentiment from the beginning of the year when everyone expected rates to move higher.”
- ETFs: AGG, BOND, BND, SCHZ, LAG, SAGG, DI, GBF, RIGS, LDUR, FWDB
Tue, Jun. 10, 12:43 PM
- Introduced in October 2012, the iShares core lineup will double in size on June 12th with the addition of 10 new and existing iShares funds.
- Four new ETFs will roll out on Thursday to join the core lineup: iShares Core Dividend Growth ETF (DGRO), iShares Core MSCI Europe ETF (IEUR), iShares Core MSCI Pacific ETF (IPAC) and iShares Core GNMA Bond ETF (IUSB).
- Six of the funds are existing and will undergo name and some will also see ticker changes: iShares Russell 3000 Growth ETF (IWZ) will become iShares Core U.S. Growth ETF under the ticker IUSG; iShares Russell 3000 Value ETF (IWW) will become iShares Core U.S. Value ETF under the ticker IUSV; iShares High Dividend ETF (HDV) will become iShares Core High Dividend ETF and continue to trade under HDV; iShares Credit Bond ETF (CFT) will become iShares Core U.S. Credit Bond ETF under the ticker CRED; iShares U.S. Treasury Bond ETF (GOVT) will become iShares Core U.S. Treasury Bond ETF and continue to trade under GOVT; iShares Barclays GNMA Bond ETF (GNMA) will become iShares Core GNMA Bond ETF and continue to trade under GNMA.
- The original core iShares ETFs these funds will join: ITOT, IVV, IJH, IJR, IXUS, IEMG, IEFA, AGG, ILTB, ISTB
Mon, Jun. 2, 2:12 PM| Mon, Jun. 2, 2:12 PM | Comment!
Mon, Jun. 2, 10:55 AM
- "I don’t expect the consensus to be right, I’m just surprised by how wrong it has been,” says Jim Bianco of bond market forecasts. The continuing rally in fixed-income has many questioning their models, including the FRBNY which last month altered its forecasting gauge to no longer include estimates from professional economists.
- In what sounds suspiciously like curve-fitting, the PhDs' new model now shows the continuing rally in Treasury prices as making perfect sense.
- Turning to the private sector, BofA's head of U.S. rates strategy Priya Misra sys a risk metric she's previously relied on - the gap between the rate on 10-year swaps and yields on Treasurys - hasn't worked since March. "Everyone is short and they are forced to cover," says Misra, throwing years of economics training out the window.
- ETFs: AGG, BOND, BND, SCHZ, LAG, SAGG, GBF
Sun, Jun. 1, 9:04 AM
- Utility company equities took a "what me worry" attitude this week to Barclays' downgrade of the debt of the entire electric sector thanks to long-term challenges from solar and storage. "In the 100+ year history of the electric utility industry, there has never before been a truly cost-competitive substitute available for grid power," says Barclays, but that's changing before our eyes.
- The cost of solar + storage for residential customers is already competitive with the price of grid power in Hawaii, says Barclays, and could soon follow in California, New York, and Arizona, with many other states soon after.
- Utility investors (at least on the credit side), says Barclays, are depending on a continuation of the "regulatory compact" - in which utilities keep the lights on in exchange for low-risk returns - to protect them from the disruptive forces at hand. It's worked in the past, but "technological change creates precisely the environment where slower-moving incumbents and their regulators can fall behind the curve, risking credit volatility."
- Seeing "a rare opportunity," Barclays recommends credit investors underweight the electric sector against the broader U.S. Corporate index (AGG), and rotate out of paper issued by utilities in areas where solar is closer to being competitive.
- ETFs: XLU, IDU, VPU, UPW, RYU, FUTY, PUI, FXU, SDP, PSCU
Thu, May. 29, 12:32 PM
- "Being different is absolutely essential if you want a chance at being superior," says Howard Marks. Hoping to return to the top of the heap in fixed income performance, Bill Gross is at odds with many on the Street, loading the portfolio of the Total Return Fund (ETF: BOND) with Treasurys in the belly of the curve.
- The play is a bet on Gross' "new neutral," in which the neutral Fed Funds rate is at least a couple of hundred basis points less than commonly believed. If he's right, Treasurys with duration in the 3-7 year area should benefit the most as rate hikes are postponed or come in at a far slower pace.
- "Once they see the whites of the eyes of full employment, they will want to normalize rates at a faster clip," says Jonathan Beinner, co-head of global fixed income at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, summing up the conventional Street wisdom.
- ETFs: AGG, BOND, BND, BIV, SCHZ, LAG, SAGG, GBF, GVI, SHY, BIL, SHV, VGSH, SCHO, SST, TUZ, DTUL, DTUS
- Previously: Pimco: "New neutral" explains Treasury rally
Thu, May. 22, 1:02 PM
- S&P Dow Jones Indices (MHFI +0.4%) expects to unveil smart beta bond indexes in Q4, while BlackRock (BLK +0.3%) doesn't yet have a timetable, but is experimenting with different ways of weighting components of the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index (AGG -0.1%) to make ETFs based on the new indexes, according to the company's Daniel Gamba.
- Those issuers with the most debt dominate traditional bond indexes, but smart beta supposedly reduces risk by giving more weight to factors like corporate cash flow, or economic growth rates in the case of sovereign paper.
- ETF issuers like iShares hope smart beta funds will lure investors seeking alternatives at a time of worry about higher rates. Smart beta is also more profitable for issuers - Vanguard's Total Bond Market ETF costs $8 in fees for every $10K invested as opposed to a number of smart beta funds charing $50 for every $10K.
- ETFs: AGG, BOND, BND, SCHZ, LAG, SAGG, DI, GBF, LDUR, FWDB
Fri, May. 16, 9:13 AM
- Harkening back to the "new normal" thesis peddled by former colleague Mohamed El-Erian for the past few years, Bill Gross (BOND) talks of a "new neutral" to try and explain why 2.50 on the 10-year Treasury is a perfectly reasonable yield.
- With debt remaining high and economic expansion continuing to be lame, the "new neutral" real Fed Funds rate is about 0%-0.5%, says Gross, along with Richard Clarida. "If the new neutral policy rate is 0% and the Fed achieves its 2% inflation target, than the 10-year Treasury should trade at close to 2%."
- The investment implications: Bubble risk is lower than expected as markets have priced in a real Fed Funds rate of 1-2% and nominal of 3-4% by the end of the decade. If the "new neutral" of 0% real rates and 2% nominal plays out, asset markets could see plenty of support.
- ETFs: AGG, BOND, BND, SHY, BSV, BIV, BLV, SCHZ, BIL, PLW, SHV, GOVT, VGSH, LAG, SCHO, BYLD, ILTB, SAGG, ISTB, SST, GBF, TUZ, GVI, DTUS, DTUL, MINC, FWDB, AGND, AGZD
Thu, May. 8, 3:04 PM
- Maybe more worried about having cash on hand to meet redemptions than beating their benchmark, bond fund managers have taken cash levels up to 7.6% of AUM at the end of March vs. 3% four years earlier.
- Times have changed in fixed-income land - banks have cut thousands from trade desks and shrunk their books of inventory, making it harder for debt managers to exit positions and raising the chance of far more price volatility should there come a rush to sell.
- Fund performance is being punished: The broad U.S. bond market up 3.2% this year - the best gains since 2010, according to BAML. Non-traditional bond funds - in which managers have flexibility to decide where to invest - are ahead just 1.7%.
- Broad bond ETFs: AGG, BOND, BND, BSV, BIV, BLV, SCHZ, LAG, BYLD, SAGG, ISTB, DI, ILTB, GBF, GVI, MINC, LDUR, FWDB, AGND, AGZD
Fri, May. 2, 9:03 AM
- Investors pulled another $3.1B from Bill Gross' Total Return Fund in April, marking the 12th consecutive month of net exits, and bringing total outflows over the last year to $55.26B. AUM are now down to $230B.
- Alongside April's outflow is another month of lackluster returns, with the fund's 0.74 return trailing 68% of peers, and the 0.84% return for the benchmark Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index (ETF: AGG)
- The Pimco Total Return ETF (BOND) - designed to mimic the Total Return Fund - saw $75M in outflows in April, bringing AUM down to $3.4B.
- Pimco's pain is rival DoubleLine's gain - its flagship $32B DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund saw inflows of about $320M in April, and is posting returns YTD well ahead of the Barclays benchmark.
- Pimco parent: Allianz (AZSEY)
Thu, May. 1, 2:22 PM| Thu, May. 1, 2:22 PM | Comment!
Wed, Apr. 23, 12:51 PM
- The iShares Yield Optimized Bond ETF (BYLD) will give investors to a broad array of fixed income securities listed in the U.S.
- Unlike its wildly popular Core Total U.S. Bond Market ETF (AGG), according to the recently updated SEC filing BLYD will offer exposure to both investment grade and non-investment grade securities.
- Other total U.S. bond ETFs: BOND, BND, BSV, BIV, BLV, SCHZ, LAG, SAGG, ILTB, ISTB, GBF, GVI, MINC, FWDB, GIY
Wed, Apr. 2, 2:55 PM
- "The reported 'great rotation' out of fixed-income seems to have been short-lived," writes Brian Rehling, chief fixed-income strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors. Short of an inflation scare - not on the horizon at the moment - he doesn't see investors exiting the sector en masse in the coming years.
- Worried about volatility and the fact that most bond funds and ETFs never mature (target-date ones don't)? Rehling suggests buying high-quality paper directly and creating bond ladders which allow cash to be received and then put back to work at potentially higher rates.
- ETFs: AGG, BOND, BND, BSV, BIV, BLV, SCHZ, LAG, SAGG, ILTB, GVI, GBF, ISTB, MINC, FWDB, GIY
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