In contrast, a regular bond ETF runs the risk of losing its original principal if interest rates go up, depending on the bond ETF’s effective duration, since the typical bond funds would buy and sell debt securities to maintain their target short-, intermediate- or long-duration strategy.

While financial advisors and investors have implemented this strategy through individual debt securities, crafting bond ladders with individual bonds can be time consuming and cost prohibitive. Alternatively, investors can utilize target-date bond ETFs to easily create a bond ladder strategy.

By using target-date bond funds, a fixed-income investor could create a bond ladder strategy in a portfolio with varying maturity dates. The bonds’ maturity dates are evenly spaced across several years so that the proceeds from maturing bonds may be reinvested at regular intervals.

“iBonds ETFs are investment grade bond portfolios that investors can use to build diversified, laddered bond portfolios more easily than they can with individual bonds,” according to iShares.

 

For more information on new fund products, visit our new ETFs category.