The Vanguard Short-Term Bond ETF (NYSEArca: BSV) provides exposure to short-duration investment-grade bonds, with an average duration of 2.7 years and a 0.8% 30-day SEC yield. Duration is a measure of a bond fund’s sensitivity to change sin interest rates, so a 1% rise in benchmark rates would translate to about a 2.7% decline in BSV. [Tactical Asset Allocation With ETFs]
Fixed-income investors can also shift their exposure to credit risk and potentially garner greater returns. The iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (NYSEArca: LQD) provides exposure to investment-grade corporate debt mostly rated A or BBB. LQD has a 0.15% expense ratio, a 3.06% 30-day SEC yield and a 7.68 year duration. [Safe Bond ETFs Outperforming in Corporate Debt Market]
For an even riskier take, investors can take a look at speculative-grade debt exposure, with the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (NYSEArca: HYG), which mostly holds junk-rated BB and B debt. HYG has a 0.50% expense ratio, a 4.21% 30-day SEC yield and a 3.89 year duration.
Investors can also go global with a broad international corporate bond ETF, like the SPDR Barclays International Corporate Bond ETF (NYSEArca: IBND), which includes exposure to France, the U.K. and Germany, among others. IBND has a 0.55% expense ratio, a 0.97% 30-day SEC yield and a 5.01 year duration.
Alternatively, the iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF (NYSEArca: EMB) provides exposure to emerging market debt. The holdings include U.S.-denominated debt, which diminishes currency risks, along with 64% of assets in investment-grade quality bonds. EMB has a 0.60% expense ratio, 4.26% 30-day SEC yield and a 7.07 year duration.
For more information the fixed-income market, visit our bond ETFs category.
Full disclosure: Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of EMB, HYG and LQD.