In a low-yield environment, some investors are turning to lesser quality corporate debt in an attempt to boost income. When shopping for potential investments, investors will likely consider exchange traded fund options, as well as mutual funds.
Richard Shaw, managing principal of QVM Group, on Seeking Alpha compared various high-yield mutual bond funds from Neuberger Berman, Janus, Principal, Ivy and Vanguard to high-yield bond ETFs SPDR Barclays High Yield Bond (NYSEArca: JNK) and iShares iBoxx High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (NYSEArca: HYG).
When looking at mutual funds compared to ETFs, it all depends on the individual investor’s preferences. ETFs don’t have as long a trading history. However, the ETFs are based on well-established indices – JNK and HYG are based on the Barclays Capital High Yield Very Liquid Index and the iBoxx $ Liquid High Yield Index, respectively.
Needless to say, mutual funds are actively managed, whereas the ETFs passively follow a benchmark Index. Still, the passive nature also allows ETFs to charge low expense ratios. JNK has an expense ratio of 0.40% and HYG has an expense ratio of 0.50%.
Additionally, both mutual funds and ETFs show different allocations to bond quality. For example, the Neuberger Berman high-yield bond fund holds a higher percent allocation in the BB-quality bonds, whereas both the ETFs favor the slightly lower B-quality bonds.