High-yield bond exchange traded funds are back in style this year as highlighted by inflows to some of the group’s more notable constituents.
Amid a record start to the year for inflows to fixed income ETFs, the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (NYSEArca: HYG) and the SPDR Barclays High Yield Bond ETF (NYSEArca: JNK), the largest junk bond ETFs, among the 10 best asset-gathering ETFs. [Record Inflows to Bond ETFs]
Those are the big-name junk bond funds, but there are other compelling opportunities in this space, including the Market Vectors Fallen Angel High Yield Bond ETF (NYSEArca: ANGL). Fallen angel bonds, debt that was once rated investment-grade but was later downgraded to junk status have outperformed traditional high-yield bonds last year as measured by the BofA Merrill Lynch US Fallen Angel High Yield Index (H0FA) and BofA Merrill Lynch US High Yield Master II Index (H0A0), respectively. [Junk Bond ETF Dodges Energy Risk]
Since coming to market nearly three years ago, ANGL has topped HYG and the iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (NYSEArca: LQD), confirming that fallen angel bonds offer opportunities for income and capital appreciation.
“Fallen angel bonds seem to come into their own in times of relative strains in high yield markets as the ANGL proved much more resilient to the recent pullback seen among high yield bonds, evident by the fact that ANGL fell by just half the margin seen in the HYG, which fell by over 6% between August and December of last year,” according to Markit.
A big part of the reason ANGL remained durable during the pullback in high-yield over that period was the ETF’s energy weight, or lack thereof. In mid-December, ANGL’s energy sector weight was just 4.6% compared to the 15% to 20% range found with other high-yield bond ETFs.