Rising rate worries have crippled the investing world this year. Global inflation level is running hot. The Fed has enacted multiple rate-hikes this year. With the latest U.S. inflation reading coming in inflation-beating, the Fed is likely to raise rates again this year.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard left open the possibility that the central bank would raise interest rates by 75 basis points at each of its next two meetings in November and December, while saying it was too early to decide. U.S. benchmark Treasury yields touched the 4%-level on Oct 14.
iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT – Free Report) lost about 34% this year. No wonder, in the face of rising bond yields, investors might be fearing fixed-income investing as yields and bond prices are inversely related. But there are fixed income ways that would help investors mitigate such threats yet prove profitable. Below we highlight a few of them:
High-Yield Interest-Hedged ETFs
High-yield interest-hedged ETFs take care of rising rate risks while providing solid current income. This ETF has proven to be pretty resilient in this year’s turmoil.
ProShares High Yield-Interest Rate Hedged ETF (HYHG – Free Report) is comprised of long positions in USD-denominated high yield corporate bonds and short positions in U.S. Treasury notes or bonds of approximate equivalent duration. The ETF yields 5.03% annually and is down 7.2% this year.
Convertible Bond ETFs
Convertible bonds are those that can be exchanged if the holder chooses to, for a specific number of preferred or common shares if the company’s share price climbs past a said conversion price during the bond’s tenure. The main difference of the asset with the traditional bonds is that convertible bonds offer investors the right to convert their bond holdings into a company’s shares at the holder’s discretion.
First Trust SSI Strategic Convertible Securities ETF (FCVT – Free Report) puts at least 80% of its net assets in a diversified portfolio of U.S. and non-U.S. convertible securities. It yields 4.85% annually and charges 95 bps in fees. FCVT has lost 2.2% in the past three months.
Senior Loan ETFs
Senior loans are floating rate instruments and provide protection from rising interest rates. In a nutshell, a relatively high-yield opportunity coupled with protection from the looming rise in interest rates should help the fund to perform better.
TIPS are government bonds whose face value rises with inflation. TIPS ETFs not only combat increasing prices but also protect income for the long term.
Floating Rate Bond ETFs
Floating rate notes are investment grade bonds that do not pay a fixed rate to investors but have variable coupon rates that are often tied to an underlying index (such as LIBOR) plus a variable spread depending on the credit risk of issuers. Since the coupons of these bonds are adjusted periodically, they are less sensitive to an increase in rates compared to traditional bonds.
Short-Term Cash-Like ETFs
Investors might want to retain money amid the uncertainty. We believe cash and short-dated fixed income may play a greater role in adding stability to a portfolio.
PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active ETF (MINT – Free Report) may be appropriate for non-immediate cash allocations. The fund charges 35 bps, yields 1.17% annually and has lost 3% this year (read: Is Hoarding Cash a Safe Bet Right Now? ETFs in Focus).