Bonds are back… but you don’t need to be a hero

Fixed Income
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  • Bonds have rebounded over the past four months due to higher yields and falling inflation.
  • Markets remain uncertain due to unpredictable Federal Reserve policy and the tight labour market.
  • Investors are advised not to increase risk exposure until the second half of the year.
  • Yields in European investment grade are around 4% and globally around 5%, making bonds a good option for those concerned about equities.
  • The Bloomberg Global Aggregate index has bounced 9.3% since late October, but investors ended last year with 16.7% losses.
  • Even safe haven Treasuries took a 12.9% beating in 2022.

Doubts linger despite the resurgence

  • Many investors remain nervous despite $65bn pumped into fixed assets since the beginning of the year.
  • Investors are cautious due to uncertainty around inflation and the yield curve persistently inverting.
  • Shorter-dated fixed income is seen as a sweet spot, offering attractive yields and protection from policy uncertainty.
  • Self-proclaimed bond bull Chris Iggo suggests that short-dated fixed income could provide a nice yield in today's market.
  • Investors are advised to hold fire on moving up the risk spectrum into high yield until there is greater certainty on the likely depth and duration of any recession.
  • The short-duration income strategy focuses on more defensive areas such as utilities, healthcare and cash-rich energy names.
  • The fund predominantly holds a diversified portfolio of securitised debt, with key holdings in highly rated auto loans, credit card receivables, and AAA-rated commercial mortgage-backed securities.

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