Market View: Bonds—Flexible Income Strategies for an Uncertain Market
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. Bonds may also be subject to other types of risk, such as call, credit, liquidity, interest-rate, and general market risks. 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. Moreover, the specific collateral used to secure a loan may decline in value or become illiquid, which would adversely affect the loan’s value. 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.
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.
Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) are Treasury securities that are indexed to inflation in order to protect investors from the negative effects of inflation. TIPS are considered an extremely low-risk investment since they are backed by the U.S. government and since their par value rises with inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, while their interest rate remains fixed. Investing in inflation-linked derivatives involves the risk that the derivatives are or will become illiquid and that the counterparty may fail to perform its obligations. Because derivatives may involve a small amount of cash relative to the total amount of the transaction, the magnitude of losses from derivatives may be greater than the amount originally invested.
Correlation, measured on a scale of -1.0 to +1.0, is the extent to which the values of two investments move in tandem with one another. A perfect positive correlation of +1.0 between two investments implies that as one security moves, either up or down, the other security will move in the same direction. Alternatively, a perfect negative correlation of -1.0 between two investments implies that they will move in opposite directions. Investments with a correlation of 0 implies that the movements of the two investments are not related but completely random.
Coupon is the interest rate stated on a bond when it's issued. The coupon is typically paid semiannually. This also is referred to as the "coupon rate" or "coupon percent rate."
CPI swaps are a type of interest-rate swap in which one party pays a fixed interest rate based on inflation expectations, and the other party pays a variable rate based on inflation expectations. Inflation swaps are often based on the Consumer Price Index.
Duration is the change in the value of a fixed-income security that will result from a 1% change in market interest rates. Generally, the larger a portfolio’s duration, the greater the interest-rate risk or reward for underlying bond prices.
The Barclays U.S. Government Bond Index is a market value-weighted index composed of all publicly issued, nonconvertible, domestic debt of the U.S. government or any agency thereof, quasi-federal corporations, or corporate debt guaranteed by the U.S. government. Flower bonds and pass-through issues are excluded. Total return consists of price appreciation/depreciation plus income as a percentage of the original investment. Indexes are rebalanced monthly by market capitalization.
Gross domestic product (GDP) is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific time period, though GDP is usually calculated on an annual basis. It includes all of private and public consumption, government outlays, investments and exports less imports that occur within a defined territory.
The Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is an unmanaged index composed of securities from the Barclays Government/Corporate Bond Index, Mortgage-Backed Securities Index and the Asset-Backed Securities Index. Total return comprises price appreciation/depreciation and income as a percentage of the original investment. Indexes are rebalanced monthly by market capitalization.
The Barclays U.S. TIPS Index measures the performance of the TIPS market. TIPS form the largest component of the Barclays Global Inflation-Linked Bond Index. Inflation-linked indexes include only capital indexed bonds with a remaining maturity of one year or more.
The Barclays U.S. Corporate Baa-Rated Index is the Baa-rated component of the Barclays U.S. Corporate Investment Grade Index. The index includes publicly issued U.S. corporate and specified foreign debentures and secured notes that meet the specified maturity, liquidity, and quality requirements. To qualify, bonds must be SEC-registered.
The BofA Merrill Lynch U.S. Corporate BBB-Rated 1-3 Year Index is a rating- and maturity-specific subset of the BofA Merrill Lynch U.S. Corporate Index.
The Barclays U.S. Corporate High Yield Bond Index is a market value-weighted index which covers the U.S. non-investment grade fixed-rate debt market. The index is composed of U.S. dollar-denominated corporate debt in Industrial, Utility, and Finance sectors with a minimum $150 million par amount outstanding and a maturity greater than 1 year. The index includes reinvestment of income.
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 BofA Merrill Lynch All Convertibles, All Qualities Index contains issues that have a greater than $50 million aggregate market value. The issues are U.S. dollar-denominated, sold into the U.S. market and publicly traded in the United States.
The Credit Suisse Leveraged Loan Index is designed to mirror the investable universe of the U.S. dollar-denominated leveraged loan market. The CS Leveraged Loan Index is an unmanaged, trader-priced index that tracks leveraged loans. The CS Leveraged Loan Index, which includes reinvested dividends, has been taken from published sources.
The Deutsche Bank U.S. CPI Breakeven Inflation 5-Year Swap Indexes allow investors to track the performance of five-year inflation swaps. These measure the performance of holding an inflation receiver, breakeven payer swap. The inflation swaps are based on the U.S. CPI Urban Consumers Index.
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.