Investors looking for a balance between yield and protection from rising interest rates have been moving into ETFs tracking speculative-grade corporate bonds with shorter durations.
PIMCO 0-5 Year High Yield Corporate Bond Index (NYSEArca: HYS) and SPDR Barclays Short-Term High-Yield Bond ETF (NYSEArca: SJNK) have gathered $602 million and $318 million, respectively, since the beginning of May, according to WSJ.com’s MoneyBeat blog. [These High-Yield Bond ETFs Protect Against Rising Rates]
The largest junk bond ETFs, iShares iBoxx High Yield Corporate Bond (NYSEArca: HYG) and SPDR Barclays High Yield Bond (NYSEArca: JNK), together have seen more than $3 billion move out the door over the same period as Treasury yields climbed. [High-Yield Bond ETFs Recovering from Taper Tantrum]
In the shorter duration junk bond ETFs, HYS has an SEC 30-day yield of 4% and an effective duration of 2 years, according to PIMCO. SJNK has a yield of 5.1% and a modified adjusted duration of about 2.3 years, according to State Street Global Advisors.
“Shorter-term junk bonds are lower volatility, so in a downdraft there’s a lot less downside than regular junk bonds,” said Chun Wang, co-portfolio manager at Leuthold Weeden Capital Management, in the MoneyBeat post.