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Wed, Jun. 11, 3:42 PM
- "Low policy rates, competition among banks for retail business, and tighter regulations have created an unusual environment where the highest-yielding bank CDs dominate virtually all short-maturity bonds and offer vastly superior risk-adjusted yields to most intermediate-maturity bonds," writes Morningstar's Samuel Lee, noting one 5-year CD offering a yield of 2.25% with a duration of just 1.7 years.
- To get a better yield in Treasurys, one would have to move all the way out to 7-year paper, and for investment-grade corporates would require something in the 4-5 year range.
- Against options like BIL, MINC, BSV, MINT, and NEAR, Lee would rather have CDs.
Tue, Jan. 7, 10:01 AM
- Bill Gross' Total Return Fund is making headlines for its weak 2013 performance and massive outflows - $41B, or 17% of AUM - but the ETF equivalent BOND had net outflows last year of just $165M, or 4.7% of AUM.
- The action speaks to the growing phenomenon of ETFs taking market share from mutual funds. In spite of a tough environment for fixed income, Pimco's bond ETF family managed more than $4.3B of net inflows last year.
- Countering BOND's modest losses was Pimco's Enhanced Short Maturity Strategy (MINT) - also actively managed, but investing in ultra-short-term paper. It had net inflows of $1.71B in 2013.
Nov. 11, 2013, 5:34 PM
- Mutual fund giant Franklin Templeton Investments (BEN) recently launched their first ETF, the Franklin Short Duration U.S. Government ETF (FTSD) with an expense ratio of 0.30%.
- This actively managed fund focuses on short term securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S., but also invests across other short term debt sectors; including government and government agency debt, Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, Adjustable Rate Mortgages and Mortgage-Backed Securities.
- "This actively managed ETF can take advantage of opportunities outside of the index (Barclays U.S. Government 1-3 Year Index), which has a much narrower opportunity set," said Roger Bayston, the fund's lead portfolio manager, in a press release.
- Money Market ETFs: MINT, NEAR, RAVI, ULST, GMTB
Oct. 10, 2013, 2:00 PM
- The SSgA Ultra Short Term Bond ETF (ULST) started trading this morning - according the the prospectus this ETF seeks to provide current income consistent with preservation of capital and daily liquidity through investments in short duration, high quality bonds across the market.
- With an expense ratio of .20%, ULST is in the middle of the ultra short market expense scale with investor favorite, MINT, costing .35% while the also popular BIL charges just .13%.
Sep. 24, 2013, 3:45 PM
- The iShares Short Maturity Bond ETF (NEAR) is expected to be launched this week. Actively-managed, the fund will invest in dollar-denominated short-duration (maturity of about 1 year) debt. The concentration will be on government and high-quality corporate paper - 80% of assets must be in investment-grade debt at all times.
- Pimco's MINT invests only in investment-grade credits and about 60% of its fund is in government debt.
- NEAR will have an expense ratio of 0.25% vs. MINT's at 0.35%.
Sep. 9, 2013, 9:05 AM
- Pimco's Enahanced Maturity Strategy Fund (MINT) has replaced another Pimco fund, Bill Gross' Total Return ETF (BOND) as the largest actively-managed ETF.
- Money has been exiting Gross' Total Return Fund and its ETF version (BOND) amid the rout in long-dated fixed income prices. MINT - now with $4.15B in AUM vs. $4.03B for BOND - is a money-market equivalent, while BOND owns paper with 3-10 year duration.
- Opened in March 2012, BOND has been about the most successful ETF launch ever - second only to the SPDR Gold Shares Fund (GLD).
Jul. 8, 2013, 12:16 PMOne of the better-selling ETFs in June was the Pimco Short Maturity ETF (MINT), which gathered $700M. The fund was already a popular one as its 0.98% yield beat out money-market funds, and now it's attracting those fearful of higher rates. Money market funds' advantage of a fixed NAV may soon disappear as well, thanks to a SEC proposal to force institutional funds to float. Similar ETFs: BIL, SHV, GSY, PVI, VRD, RAVI. | 4 Comments
Jul. 1, 2013, 12:14 PMThe exodus of money in June from emerging markets and (most) fixed income ETFs has been well documented, but did any funds garner new money? As a percentage of assets, 2 stand out - the iShares MSCI Germany ETF (EWG) and a leveraged-long Russell 2000 ETF (UWM). Also making the list of inflows are a number of short-term fixed income funds - SHY, SCPB, MINT - as investors shed duration risk. | Comment!
Jun. 5, 2013, 12:50 PMThe SEC unveils major money-market reform plans aimed at reducing the risk of runs. As expected, the main plank requires prime funds - where institutional investors play - to discard their fixed $1/share value in favor of a floating NAV. Retail and government funds - not considered at risk for runs - will not be forced to do so. The proposals are expected to drive interest in so-called short-duration ETFs which already have floating NAVs, MINT, BIL, SHV, and GSY among them. | 1 Comment
May. 23, 2013, 10:12 AMThe ProShares High Yield-Interest Rate Hedged ETF (HYHG) starts trading today joining the likes of HYLS and THHY. The fund will short Treasurys to offset its exposure to high-yield corporate debt and comes with an expense ratio of 0.50% - significantly lower than THHY (1.45%) and HYLS (1.19%). | Comment!
May. 16, 2013, 1:28 PMFund managers like BlackRock (BLK) and Legg Mason (LM) get ahead of what could be a "seismic reallocation of assets" by launching "ultra-short" funds with floating NAVs ahead of new money market regulations. These funds are different than the "ultra-short" funds which ran into trouble in 2008 in that their maturities are even shorter and they can only invest in high-grade debt. Somewhat similar ETF offerings: SHV, MINT, BIL, PVI, GSY, VRD, RAVI. | 1 Comment
Mar. 22, 2013, 10:25 AMThe recently announced Market Vectors Treasury-Hedged High Yield Bond ETF THHY starts trading today. The fund invests in high-yield bonds, but hedges interest rate risk by shorting Treasurys. It comes with a high expense ratio of 1.45% as compared to similar funds HYLS (1.19%), GYLD and MINC (0.75%). | Comment!
Mar. 19, 2013, 3:59 PMThe AdvisorShares NewFleet Multi-Sector Income ETF (MINC) is set to launch Wednesday. The fund will aim for a duration of 1-3 years and own mostly investment-grade debt, but can also invest in government, emerging market, and high-yield paper. The total annual cost will be 0.75%, more than double that of likely competitor - Pimco's $2.8B MINT. | Comment!
Mar. 13, 2013, 10:12 AMTrying to turn back coming regulation, Fidelity throws its support behind "liquidity gates" and fees on money-market funds during times of market stress. The proposed model would temporarily halt redemptions should liquid assets fall below a certain level. Should liquidity continue to decline, a 1% redemption fee would be imposed. Short-duration ETFs (SHV, MINT to name two) are sounding better and better. | Comment!
Feb. 12, 2013, 2:45 PM
Jan. 31, 2013, 2:14 PMWisdomTree's (WETF) latest (pdf) is the actively managed Global Corporate Bond ETF (GLCB). Unique in that it can invest in any corporate bond listed anywhere in the globally, GLCB charges 0.45%. Competing ETFs: Passive IBND (ER 0.55%) has significantly less emerging market and high yield exposure but has a similar intermediate duration. Active FWDB (ER 1.26%) is more similar geographically and credit grade-wise but mixes in non-corporate fixed income. RAVI (ER 0.25%) and MINT (ER 0.35%) are both actively managed but have much shorter durations and minimal high yield exposure. RAVI has no emerging exposure. | Comment!
MINT vs. ETF Alternatives
The PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Strategy Fund (MINT) is an actively managed exchange-traded fund (ETF) that seeks greater income and total return potential than money market funds, and may be appropriate for non-immediate cash allocations. MINT will primarily invest in short duration investment grade debt securities. The average portfolio duration of MINT will vary based on PIMCO’s economic forecasts and active investment process decisions, and will not normally exceed one year. MINT will disclose all portfolio holdings on a daily basis, and will not use options, futures, or swaps.
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