U.S. equities rallied in 2019, but for investors who are just starting to get back into the stock market after a tumultuous year-end to 2018 could have missed the meat of the move. As such, lower equity returns for the rest of 2019 could translate to more interest in high-yield options.
A volatile end to 2018 no doubt elicited a risk-off sentiment that permeated throughout the capital markets, causing high-yield bond funds to experience an aggregate one-month outflow of $1.45 billion, according to data from XTF. However, it appears investors could be turning a corner on high-yield given that trade negotiations between China and the U.S. have taken a turn for the worse.
With bond market mavens warning investors of headwinds in the fixed income space like the possibility of inverted yield curve, rising rates and BBB debt sliding out of investment-grade, investors need to be keen on where to look for opportunities to hide away when markets head downward.
One place is in investment grade debt and here are five ETFs to consider.
1. iShares 1-3 Year Credit Bond ETF (NASDAQ: CSJ)
CSJ tracks the investment results of the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. 1-3 Year Credit Bond Index where 90 percent of its assets will be allocated towards a mix of investment-grade corporate debt and sovereign, supranational, local authority, and non-U.S. agency bonds that are U.S. dollar-denominated and have a remaining maturity of greater than one year and less than or equal to three years–this shorter duration is beneficial during recessionary environments.
2. SPDR Blmbg Barclays Investment Grade Floating Rate ETF (NYSEArca: FLRN)
FLRN seeks to provide investment results that mimic the performance of the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Dollar Floating Rate Note < 5 Years Index. At least 80 percent of assets will go towards securities that include U.S. dollar-denominated, investment grade floating rate notes. This floating rate component can take advantage of short-term rate adjustments by the Federal Reserve, while at the same time, protect the investor against credit risk with investment-grade issues and a duration of less than five years.
3. iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (NYSEArca: LQD)
LQD seeks to track the investment results of the Markit iBoxx® USD Liquid Investment Grade Index composed of U.S. dollar-denominated, investment-grade corporate bonds. LQD allocates 95 percent of its total assets in investment-grade corporate bonds to mitigate credit risk.
4. ProShares Investment Grade—Interest Rate Hedged (BATS: IGHG)
IGHG tracks the performance of the Citi Corporate Investment Grade (Treasury Rate-Hedged) Index with long positions in investment grade corporate bonds issued by both U.S. and foreign domiciled companies. This is particularly important during market downturns when the propensity for a company to default on its debt is higher. As such, IGHG focuses on investment-grade issues to reduce credit risk.
5. Xtrackers Investment Grade Bond Interest Rate Hedge ETF (BATS: IGIH)
IGIH seeks investment results that track the performance of the Solactive Investment Grade Bond – Interest Rate Hedged Index where a portion IGIH’s total assets will reside in long positions in U.S. dollar-denominated investment-grade corporate bonds. As in the case of IGHG, this strategy effectively eliminates exposure to riskier bonds with fund allocations in investment-grade issues.
For more trends in fixed income, visit the Fixed Income Channel.