Bond investors have enjoyed a three-decade-long run and yields on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note appear to be stuck below 2%.
Yet looking ahead, bond ETFs could feel serious pain if interest rates ever start rising. Yes, I know you've heard this before, but it doesn't hurt to have a plan if Treasury yields begin to creep higher.
Bond prices have an inverse relationship with interest rates, writes John Waggoner for USA Today. The benchmark 10-year Treasury market has witnessed a 30-year bull rally as yields fell from the Sept. 30, 1981 peak of 15.84% - something almost unimaginable with yields currently hovering around 1.66%.
Currently, it doesn't look like interest rates will budge anytime soon. Specifically, the Federal Reserve's loose monetary policy has kept a lid on long-term rates, and the central bank has specifically stated that rates will remain low until unemployment drops and inflation rises.
One of the most prominent names in perma-bear predicting, Nouriel Roubini, just advised that you buy stocks for a period of about two years. At that time, the professor expects a global economic depression to rock the world markets.
There's a great deal of irony in hearing "Dr. Doom" discuss riding a stock wave higher through 2014. For one thing, his revelation is coming to light at all-time record highs for U.S. equities. And he recommends allocating cash to the broader market at the start of May?
Second, Roubini should be more famous for his inaccurate calls than the one that the media claim that he got right. According to many writers, Roubini predicted the 2008 collapse. Yet his bearish prognostications occurred throughout the 2004-07 period, in which holding cash or short-selling assets would have harmed one's portfolio. Perhaps more devastating, a follower of Roubini would have suffered mightily
Capitalizing on the growing popularity of high-yield investments with protection against interest rate risks, First Trust plans to launch an actively managed exchange traded fund designed to beat passive indexing methodologies.
According to a press release, the First Trust Senior Loan Fund (FTSL) will begin trading Thursday, May 2. FTSL will try to generate high current income and preserve capital through a diversified portfolio of senior floating rate bank loans.
The active managers seek to outperform the Markit iBoxx USD Liquid Leveraged Loan Index and the S&P/LSTA U.S. Leveraged Loan 100 Index.
FTSL has a 0.85% expense, which is slightly lower than an existing active senior loan ETF, but still higher than two passively managed funds that invest in senior loans.
Senior loans are private debt instruments issued by a bank and provide capital to companies that typically fall below investment-grade credit ratings. They pay higher