High-Yield and Harvard: Endowment Loves This ETF

The iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (NYSEArca: HYG) is not only the largest high-yield bond exchange traded fund trading in the U.S., it is one of the biggest bond ETFs of any variety. That says HYG has a solid following among institutional investors.

HYG investors include the Harvard University endowment. Recent data indicate HYG is the largest publicly traded holding for Harvard Management Co., the prestigious university’s famed endowment.

“Harvard Management Co. disclosed in a filing that it held 9.6 million shares of iShares iBoxx High Yield Corporate Bond ETF valued at $841 million in the first quarter. The ETF gained 1.9 percent for the three months,” reports Michael McDonald for Bloomberg.

HYG celebrated its tenth anniversary last month. In its decade-long existence, HYG has showed a solid history of outperformance, returning a 5.6% average annualized return over the period. In contrast, the benchmark Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index showed an average annualized return of 4.3% over the past 10 years. Over the past year, HYG also increased 13.3%, compared to the Agg’s 0.4% gain. That data pertained to HYG’s tenth anniversary date, which was early April.