Equity exchange traded funds are off to a nice start this year but the outperformance of bond ETFs in 2011 is a reminder they can stabilize a portfolio in rough markets.
Income-seeking investors are being drawn to various bond ETFs and demand remains solid.
Aggregate or total bonds refer to a range of securities, such as convertible, floating-rate, foreign, high-yield tax-exempt munis and inflation-protected bonds.
With the Fed committed to keep rates low, many investors are scratching for yield.
Last year was an exceptional year for bonds. For instance, the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index, a widely used proxy for the broad, investment-grade U.S. bond market, gained 8%, whereas the S&P 500 increased 2% in 2011, according to Morningstar data. [Schwab Says Investors Favoring Corporate Bonds, Dividend ETFs]