The new exchange traded fund (ETF) from Barclays launched Friday amid subprime mortgage market concerns. The iShares Lehman MBS Fixed-Rate Bond Fund (MBB) provides exposure to mortgage-backed securities. John Spence of MarketWatch.com states the new ETF does not hold the riskier subprime loans designed for lower-income homebuyers with weak credit scores and don’t meet the strictest lending standards. Despite the timing, it is important to realize these are not subprime mortgages themselves, and this ETF isn’t classified as a risky investment.
The new ETF has an expense ratio of 0.25% and tracks an index of investment grade fixed-rate mortgage backed securities of government sponsored mortgage issuers Ginnie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae. The mortgage backed securities are pass-through, so all principle and interest payments from the mortgage pool pass directly to investors.
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