Fixed Income Repositioning

January 09, 2014

This week’s Chart of the Week examines the estimated net mutual fund flows that occurred within fixed income from January 2013 through November 2013. Notable fund flow trends during this time included investors diversifying away from more traditional bond categories such as intermediate-term, municipal, government, inflation-protected bonds, and money markets. With generally low yield levels across fixed income asset classes and the expectation of a rising interest rate environment, investors added to categories such as bank loans, nontraditional bonds (which include unconstrained and opportunistic categories), world bonds, and short-term bonds.

Favored bond categories in 2013 tended to carry less interest rate risk such as bank loans and shorter maturity securities. Tactical investments like nontraditional bond and world bond categories where the investment manager typically has more control over interest rate or credit exposures taken at any given time also drew investment dollars. Short and ultra-short bonds were favored as a substitute for money market funds in the current low yield environment.

As investors reposition their fixed income portfolios for an expected low growth and rising interest rate environment, strategies with low interest rate risk or an emphasis on tactical flexibility within their mandates will likely continue to see net positive fund flows.

The opinions expressed herein are those of Marquette Associates, Inc. (“Marquette”), and are subject to change without notice. This material is not financial advice or an offer to purchase or sell any product. Marquette reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies and techniques based on changing market dynamics or client needs.

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