Muni Bonds: Rising Rate Worries? Go Short—and High
A Note about Risk: The value of investments in debt securities will fluctuate in response to market movements. When interest rates rise, the prices of debt securities are likely to decline, and when interest rates fall, the prices of debt securities tend to rise.
Risks to consider: High-yield securities carry increased risks of price volatility, illiquidity, and the possibility of default in the timely payment of interest and principal. High-yield municipal bonds are subject to greater risk of loss of income and principal than higher-rated securities, and are likely to be more sensitive to adverse economic changes or individual municipal developments than those of higher-rated securities. High-yield municipal bonds with shorter maturities and durations carry heightened credit risk, liquidity risk and potential for default. A portion of the income derived from a municipal bond may be subject to the alternative minimum tax. Any capital gains realized may be subject to taxation. Federal, state, and local taxes may apply. There is a risk that a bond issued as tax-exempt may be reclassified by the IRS as taxable, creating taxable rather than tax-exempt income. Bonds may also be subject to other types of risk, such as call, credit, liquidity, interest-rate, and general market risks. Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories, commonwealths, and possessions, may be affected by local, state, and regional factors. These may include, for example, economic or political developments, erosion of the tax base, and the possibility of credit problems. No investing strategy can overcome all market volatility or guarantee future results.
There is no guarantee that markets will perform in a similar manner under similar conditions in the future.
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 a financial unit of measurement that is 1/100 of 1%.
Correlation is a statistical measure that indicates how closely two entities (e.g., securities, indexes, or portfolios) move in relation to each other. A correlation of 1.0 indicates that a move up or down by one is matched by a move in the same direction by the other. A correlation of -1.0 indicates that a move up or down will be matched by move in the opposite direction. A correlation of 0.0 indicates that the two entities have no statistical relationship.
Standard deviation is a measure of a measure of volatility. It indicates the variability of an investment's returns.
The Sharpe ratio was developed by Nobel laureate William F. Sharpe as a measure of risk-adjusted performance. It is calculated by taking an asset class’s (or portfolio’s) excess return above the risk-free rate and dividing it by the standard deviation of its returns. The greater the Sharpe ratio, the better the risk-adjusted performance has been.
Taxable equivalent yield is the pretax yield that a taxable bond needs to possess for its yield to be equal to that of a tax-free municipal bond. It does not reflect state and local income taxes or the alternative minimum tax, if any and will vary based on each investor's tax bracket.
Yield is the annual interest received from a bond and is typically expressed as a percentage of the bond's market price.
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 Municipal Bond Index is a rules-based, market-value-weighted index engineered for the long-term tax-exempt bond market. The index is a broad measure of the municipal bond market with maturities of at least one year. To be included in the index, bonds must be rated investment-grade (Baa3/BBB- or higher) by at least two of the following ratings agencies: Moody's, Standard & Poor’s, Fitch. If only two of the three agencies rate the security, the lower rating is used to determine index eligibility. If only one of the three agencies rates a security, the rating must be investment-grade. Bonds must have an outstanding par value of at least $7 million and be issued as part of a transaction of at least $75 million. The bonds must be fixed rate, have a dated-date after December 31, 1990, and must be at least one year from their maturity date.
The Barclays Municipal Bond 1-8 Year Index is a maturity-specific component of the Barclays Municipal Bond Index.
The Barclays High Yield Municipal Bond Index is an unmanaged index consisting of noninvestment-grade, unrated or below Ba1 bonds. The Barclays High Yield Municipal Bond Index is a subset of the Barclays Municipal Bond Index; a rules-based, market-value-weighted index engineered for the long-term tax-exempt bond market.
The Barclays High Yield Municipal Bond 1-8 Year Index is a maturity-specific component of the Barclays High Yield Municipal Bond Index.
The Citigroup 10-Year Treasury Benchmark Index is a broad measure of the performance of 10-year U.S. Treasury securities.
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 is 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. High yielding, non-investment-grade 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 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.