Bonds: Duration Isn't Everything
A Note about Risk: The value of investments in fixed-income securities will change as interest rates fluctuate and in response to market movements. As interest rates fall, the prices of debt securities tend to rise, and as interest rates rise, the prices of debt securities tend to fall. Investments in high-yield securities (sometimes called junk bonds) carry increased risks of price volatility, illiquidity, and the possibility of default in the timely payment of interest and principal. Bonds may also be subject to other types of risk, such as call, credit, liquidity, interest-rate, and general market risks. Longer-term debt securities are usually more sensitive to interest-rate changes. The longer the maturity date of a security, the greater the effect a change in interest rates is likely to have on its price. No investing strategy can overcome all market volatility or guarantee future results.
Treasuries are debt securities issued by the U.S. government and secured by its full faith and credit. Income from Treasury securities is exempt from state and local taxes. Although U.S. government securities are guaranteed as to payments of interest and principal, their market prices are not guaranteed and will fluctuate in response to market movements.
A basis point is one one-hundredth of a percentage point.
Coupon redfers to the stated interest rate on a bond when it is issued. The coupon is typically paid semiannually.
Yield is the annual interest received from a bond and is typically expressed as a percentage of the bond's market price.
The BofA Merrill Lynch U.S. High Yield Constrained Index is a market value-weighted index of all domestic and Yankee high-yield bonds, including deferred interest bonds and payment–in-kind securities. Issues included in the index have maturities of one year or more and have a credit rating lower than BB-/Baa3, but are not in default. The index limits any individual issuer to a maximum of 2% benchmark exposure.
Index constituents are capitalization-weighted, based on their current amount outstanding, provided the total allocation to an individual issuer does not exceed 2%. Issuers that exceed the limit are reduced to 2% and the face value of each of their bonds is adjusted on a pro-rata basis. The face values of bonds of all other issuers that fall below the 2% cap are increased on a pro-rata basis. In the event there are fewer than 50 issuers in the Index, each is equally weighted and the face values of their respective bonds are increased or decreased on a pro-rata basis.
The BofA Merrill Lynch 3-7 Year U.S. Treasury Index is a subset of the BofA Merrill Lynch U.S. Treasury Index including all securities with a remaining term to final maturity greater than or equal to three years and less than seven years.
Indexes are unmanaged, do not reflect the deduction of fees or expenses, and are not available for direct investment.
The credit quality of the securities in a portfolio are assigned by a national recognized statistical rating organization (NRSRO) such as Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s or Fitch, as an indication of an issuer’s creditworthiness. Ratings range from AAA (highest) to D (lowest). Bonds rated BBB or above are considered investment grade. Credit ratings BB and below are lower rated securities (“junk bonds”). High yielding, non-investment grade bonds (“junk bonds”) involve higher risks than investment-grade bonds. Adverse conditions may affect the issuer’s ability to pay interest and principal on these securities.
The opinions in the preceding commentary are as of the date of publication and subject to change based on subsequent developments and may not reflect the views of the firm as a whole. This material is not intended to be legal or tax advice and is not to be relied upon as a forecast, or research or investment advice regarding a particular investment or the markets in general, nor is it intended to predict or depict performance of any investment. Investors should not assume that investments in the securities and/or sectors described were or will be profitable. This document is prepared based on information Lord Abbett deems reliable; however, Lord Abbett does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information. Investors should consult with a financial advisor prior to making an investment decision.