The BulletShares ETF suite tries to combine the advantages of ETF investing with the benefits of individual debt exposure, including the potential ability to match income with future cash-flow needs. The BulletShares ETFs are designed to offer income-seeking investors an easily accessible means of building or managing a laddered income stream.
These defined-maturity bond funds typically buy bonds that mature in the year the ETF will terminate, ensuring that investors can collect the bonds’ face value at maturity, along with a steady income stream along the way. As such, investors are meant to buy-and-hold these securities until maturity.
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.
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.
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