High Yield: Taking the Long View
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.
Forecasts and projections are based on current market conditions and are subject to change without notice. Projections should not be considered a guarantee.
High-yield securities carry increased risks of price volatility, illiquidity, and the possibility of loss in the timely payment of interest and principal.
A basis point is one one-hundredth of a percentage point.
High-yield bond spread is the percentage difference in current yields of various classes of high-yield bonds (often junk bonds) compared against investment-grade corporate bonds, Treasury bonds or another benchmark bond measure. Spreads are often expressed as a difference in percentage points or basis points (which equal one-one hundredth of a percentage point).
Yield is the annual interest received from a bond and is typically expressed as a percentage of the bond's market price.
A credit spread is the difference in yield between a U.S. Treasury bond and a debt security with the same maturity but of lesser quality.
Standard deviation is a measure of the dispersion of a set of data from its mean; more spread-apart data has a higher deviation. Standard deviation is calculated as the square root of variance. In finance, standard deviation is applied to the annual rate of return of an investment to measure the investment's volatility.
The Sharpe ratio is a measure of risk-adjusted performance. It is calculated by subtracting the risk-free rate – such as that of the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond – from the rate of return for a portfolio and dividing the result by the standard deviation of the portfolio returns. The greater a portfolio’s Sharpe ratio, the better its risk-adjusted performance has been.
The BofA Merrill Lynch CCC & Lower U.S. High Yield Index, the BofA Merrill Lynch BB U.S. High Yield Index, and the BofA Merrill Lynch Single B U.S. High Yield Index are all subsets of the BofA Merrill Lynch U.S. High Yield. The BofA Merrill Lynch U.S. High Yield 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. In addition, qualifying securities must have risk exposure to countries that are members of the FX-G10, Western Europe or territories of the United States and Western Europe. The FX-G10 includes all euro members, the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden. Original issue zero coupon bonds, 144a securities (both with and without registration rights), and pay-in-kind securities (including toggle notes) are included in the index. Callable perpetual securities are included provided they are at least one year from the first call date. Fixed-to-floating rate securities are included provided they are callable within the fixed rate period and are at least one year from the last call prior to the date the bond transitions from a fixed to a floating rate security. Contingent capital securities (“cocos”) are excluded, but capital securities where conversion can be mandated by a regulatory authority, but which have no specified trigger, are included. Other hybrid capital securities, such as those legacy issues that potentially convert into preference shares, those with both cumulative and non-cumulative coupon deferral provisions, and those with alternative coupon satisfaction mechanisms, are also included in the index. Securities issued or marketed primarily to retail investors, equity-linked securities, securities in legal default, hybrid securitized corporates, eurodollar bonds (USD securities not issued in the U.S. domestic market), taxable and tax-exempt U.S. municipal securities and DRD-eligible securities are excluded from the index.
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 S&P 500® Index is widely regarded as the standard for measuring large cap U.S. stock market performance and includes a representative sample of leading companies in leading industries.
The credit quality of the securities are assigned by a nationally 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 principle on these securities.
Indexes are unmanaged, do not reflect the deduction of fees or expenses, and are not available for direct investment.
The opinions in Market View are as of the date of publication, are subject to change based on subsequent developments, and may not reflect the views of the firm as a whole. The material is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research, or investment advice, is not a recommendation or offer to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy, and is not intended to predict or depict the performance of any investment. Readers should not assume that investments in companies, securities, sectors, and/or markets described were or will be profitable. Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. This document is prepared based on the information Lord Abbett deems reliable; however, Lord Abbett does not warrant the accuracy and completeness of the information. Investors should consult with a financial advisor prior to making an investment decision.