Written by David Fabian, February 17th, 2017
Love is in the air this Valentines week and many income investors are smitten with the returns of their high yield investments. The steady march higher in assets like junk bonds, preferred stocks, emerging market debt, and even leveraged closed-end funds has remunerated shareholders for their faith.
The poster child of this strength may well be the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG). This well-known fund, which invests in a passive index of high yield U.S. corporate debt, has gained more than 22% over the last year. That jump includes both price gains and income distribution over a 52-week period. It also bests every corner of the U.S. fixed-income sector map by a wide margin. Read more
Written by David Fabian, February 10th, 2017
Income investors with large taxable accounts are consistently focused on maximizing their total return and minimizing the impact of taxes on their nest egg. That means seeking out funds that are sensitive to the type of income they produce and the implications of using capital losses to offset gains.
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are one avenue for investors to consider in this pursuit. Many ETFs that track a passive index have low portfolio turnover rates and often pay little to zero capital gains at year-end. These make for a truly inexpensive and effective vehicle for tax-conscious investors that want diversified stock or bond exposure. Read more
Written by David Fabian, February 02nd, 2017
Emerging market bonds were one of the few bright spots across the fixed-income landscape in 2016. This category trailed only U.S. high yield debt by total return metrics despite some meaningful volatility in the aftermath of the U.S. election. Investors also took notice of this outperformance and the favorable yields to boot. Read more
Written by David Fabian, January 25th, 2017
Many investors are familiar with the GARP acronym, which stands for Growth At A Reasonable Price. The basic definition is to uncover stocks with reasonable fundamentals (undervalued) that have sustainable growth potential. The methodology seems sound and is essentially a way of saying – don’t chase price simply for the sake of recent performance.
On the flip side of that ideology is a perilous path that I have seen many investors tread in recent years. I call it “Yield at Any Price” or YAAP. Read more
Written by David Fabian, January 18th, 2017
ETF investors are likely measuring the resilience and relative performance of their portfolios during the latest 6-month jump in interest rates. Bond funds are the obvious areas of concern in terms of volatility. However, many stock and equity-income asset classes maintain a high sensitivity to Treasury yield fluctuations as well.
REITs certainly fall into this category and are one of the few sectors of the market currently trading well off their highs. As I wrote in September, inflection points in interest rates typically signal a change of trend for these assets. Read more