After a three-decade long bull run in the fixed-income market, the Federal Reserve is eyeing interest rate hikes and yields are beginning to inch higher. Fixed-income investors, though, can rely on actively managed bond exchange traded funds that are better able to adapt to changing conditions to mitigate risks and capture areas of value.
ETF Trends publisher Tom Lydon spoke with David Mann, Head of Global ETF Markets at Franklin Templeton, at the Inside ETFs conference that ran Jan. 22-25, 2017 to talk the rise of active fixed-income ETF strategies as investors and advisors look beyond traditional passive index-based funds.
“It is important to have an active portfolio manager looking at how to manage duration and what, you know, when you start getting overweight certain sectors or issuances,” Mann said.
For instance, with the benchmark Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index growing overweight U.S. government debt, investors are now overexposed to longer duration U.S. Treasuries and the potential risks the debt securities pose in a rising rate environment.
In an attempt to get away from these overweight areas, investors can look at actively managed bond ETFs that limit rate risk and look to other areas of potential opportunities.
For instance, the Franklin Short Duration U.S. Government ETF (NYSEArca: FTSD) tries to generate a high level of current income through “prudent investing” while preserving capital The ETF will consist of investment-grade securities issued by the U.S. government and related agencies with an average duration of three or less years. The majority of holdings will include mortgage-backed securities, including adjustable rate mortgage securities.
The Franklin Liberty Investment Grade Corporate ETF (NYSEArca: FLCO) seeks to provide a high level of current income as is consistent with prudent investing, while seeking preservation of capital by investing at least 80% of its net assets in investment grade corporate debt securities and investments. The fund may invest up to 40% of its net assets in foreign securities, including those in developed markets, and up to 15% of its net assets in non-U.S. dollar denominated securities.