With no more rate hikes expected for the rest of the year, it may be safer for investors to reconsider longer duration bond exchange-traded funds (ETFs). However, there are short-term options to consider if a global economic slowdown is a cause of jitters–Daniel Sotiroff of Morningstar makes mention of the Schwab Short-Term U.S. Treasury ETF (NYSEArca: SCHO).
SCHO seeks to track as closely as possible the total return of the Bloomberg Barclays US Treasury 1-3 Year Index. The fund will invest at least 90% of its net assets (including, for this purpose, any borrowings for investment purposes) in securities included in the index.
The index includes all publicly-issued U.S. Treasury securities that have a remaining maturity of greater than or equal to one year and less than three years, are rated investment grade, and have $300 million or more of outstanding face value. The securities in the index must be denominated in U.S. dollars and must be fixed-rate and non-convertible.
“Ultrasafe investments, like short-term Treasuries, are an effective way to diversify an all-stock portfolio as they tend to hold up well during periods of market distress,” Sotiroff notes. “Treasuries are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, so they don’t carry the credit risk that is embedded in corporate bonds.”
Following the central bank’s decision to keep interest rates unchanged, a recurring theme of “patience” was mentioned in Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference following the rate announcement. Additionally Powell mentioned that the U.S. economy is in a “good place.”
In move that was widely anticipated by most market experts, the Federal Reserve on Wednesday elected to keep rates unchanged, holding its policy rate in a range between 2.25 percent and 2.5 percent. In addition, the central bank alluded to no more rate hikes for the rest of 2019 after initially forecasting two.
“The U.S. economy is in a good place,” said Powell. “We will continue to use our monetary policy tools to help keep it there. The jobs market is strong, showing healthier wage gains and prompting many people to join or remain in the workforce. The unemployment rate is near historic lows and inflation remains near our 2 percent goal.”
For more market trends, visit ETF Trends