U.S. High Yield: Exploring the Opportunity
A Note about Risk: The value of investments in fixed-income securities will change as interest rates fluctuate and in response to market movements. Generally, when interest rates rise, the prices of debt securities fall, and when interest rates fall, prices generally rise. 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 of a security, the greater the effect a change in interest rates is likely to have on its price. Lower-rated bonds may be subject to greater risk than higher-rated bonds. No investing strategy can overcome all market volatility or guarantee future results.
Statements concerning financial market trends are based on current market conditions, which will fluctuate. There is no guarantee that markets will perform in a similar manner under similar conditions in the future.
U.S. 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.
Yield is the annual interest received from a bond and is typically expressed as a percentage of the bond's market price. Yield to maturity is the rate of return anticipated on a bond if held until it matures. Yield to maturity assumes all the coupon payments are reinvested at an interest rate that equals the yield-to-maturity. The yield to maturity is the long-term yield expressed as an annual rate.
The BofA Merrill Lynch U.S. 3-Month Treasury Bill Index is comprised of a single issue purchased at the beginning of the month and held for a full month. At the end of the month that issue is sold and rolled into a newly selected issue. The issue selected at each month-end rebalancing is the outstanding Treasury bill that matures closest to, but not beyond, three months from the rebalancing date. To qualify for selection, an issue must have settled on or before the month-end rebalancing date.
The Barclays U.S. Treasury Index is the U.S. Treasury component of the U.S. Government Index. The index includes public obligations of the U.S. Treasury with a remaining maturity of one year or more.
The Barclays U.S. Baa Bond Index is a subset of the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index, which includes only corporate bonds with a rating of Baa1, Baa2, or Baa3.
The Credit Suisse High Yield Index is an unmanaged, trader-priced index constructed to mirror the characteristics of the high-yield market. The index includes issues rated BB and below by S&P or Moody’s, with par amounts greater than $75 million.
The Citigroup 2-Year U.S. Treasury Benchmark Index measures the total return for the current two-year on-the-run Treasuries that settle by the end of the calendar month. The index includes bonds with maturities of approximately two years.
The Citigroup 10-Year Treasury Bond Index is a broad measure of the performance of the medium-term U.S. Treasury securities.
The Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index represents securities that are SEC-registered, taxable, and dollar denominated. The index covers the U.S. investment grade fixed rate bond market, with index components for government and corporate securities, mortgage pass-through securities, and asset-backed securities. Total return comprises price appreciation/depreciation and income as a percentage of the original investment.
The BofA Merrill Lynch U.S. High Yield Master II Index tracks the performance of U.S. dollar -denominated below investment-grade corporate debt publicly issued in the U.S. domestic market. Qualifying securities must have a below investment-grade rating (based on an average of Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch), at least 18 months to final maturity at the time of issuance, at least one year remaining term to final maturity as of the rebalancing date, a fixed coupon schedule and a minimum amount outstanding of $100 million.
Indexes are unmanaged, do not reflect the deduction of fees or expenses, and are not available for direct investment.