Category Archives: Fixed Income

Defensiveness of the Credit Strength Strategy in U.S. Corporate Bonds

Our fundamental credit strength strategy uses credit ratios to screen out issuers with risky credit profiles and construct corporate bond portfolios with strong credit quality (for a detailed methodology, please see our previous blog). Our research shows that a credit strength strategy can potentially reduce return volatility and improve drawdowns. Our goal in this blog Read more […]

Channeling Maverick and the Maestro: The Fed Cut Rates because “We Were Inverted”

One of the classic scenes from the original Top Gun movie recounts the exchange Maverick (Tom Cruise) had with a MiG-28. Maverick corrects Charlie’s (Kelly McGillis) intelligence report on the Russian fighter jet with his eyewitness account. When she asks how he saw a MiG-28 perform a 4G dive from above, he responds: “Because I Read more […]

The Heat Is On for High Yield in July

All bonds are not the same, and when it comes to high yield they can be more like equity than fixed income at times. High yield’s lower credit ratings and reliance on funding add risk, and some investors have relied on this asset class over the past couple of years in search of yield. An Read more […]

Using Credit Ratios to Build Defensive Corporate Bond Portfolios

For corporate bond managers, credit analysis is a key step in the investment process, one that lays the foundation for their credit outlook and investment strategies. Credit analysis assesses bond issuers’ creditworthiness and evaluates their ability to make timely interest and principal payments. Credit analysis is critical in helping bond managers assess the state of Read more […]

Uncertainty’s Curse on Confidence

With the dust still settling after the unexpected result of Australia’s recent federal election on May 18, 2019, which resulted in a third 3-year term for the incumbent Liberal-National Party coalition, the Australian government has quickly turned its attention to a slowing in the Australian economy. While the uncertainty over franking credit refunds and negative Read more […]

MMT or Why Budget Deficits are Ok If They Don’t Grow Too Fast

Economics used to be Political Economy. Today politics in encouraging economics to look at different ideas such as Modern Monetary Theory. MMT argues that a country which borrows in its own currency will never default: as long as the US sells bonds denominated in US dollars, it won’t matter how big the federal budget deficit Read more […]

Increasing Share of BBB-Rated Bonds and Changing Credit Fundamentals in the Investment-Grade Corporate Bond Market

Since the 2008/2009 financial crisis, BBB-rated bonds have seen significant growth in the U.S. Today, they constitute more than half of the U.S. investment-grade bond market. The increasing share of BBB-rated bonds has dragged the S&P U.S. Investment Grade Corporate Bond Index average credit rating lower, and is accompanied with higher leverage of BBB-rated bond Read more […]

How to Stop Worrying about Inflation

Inflation in the US averaged 1.5% annually for the last five years with a peak of 2.9%. Despite today’s low and stable inflation numbers, anxiety that the price level will leap up is driving a search for the reasons it seems low. Today’s inflation is a bit lower than the average since 1914 of 3.2% Read more […]

Replacing LIBOR

LIBOR – the London Interbank Offered Rate — is the benchmark for over $300 trillion of loans, derivatives and other financial instruments.  LIBOR started in the syndicated loan market of the 1960s; today it is quoted in different currencies and maturities. Following scandals in 2012-2013, LIBOR is being replaced and will disappear in 2021. For Read more […]

Market Conditions Favored Government Bond Funds in Second Half of 2018

The SPIVA® U.S. Year-End 2018 Scorecard shows a reversal of the relative short-term performance of fixed income funds at the end of 2018 from six months prior. Combined with the interest rates move, this might shed some light on understanding the duration positioning of active funds. We focus on government bond funds for our analysis, Read more […]