Is the Bond Market Still a Good Investment in 2019

Both bond issuers and investors demonstrated greater interest in products of this kind. In fact, new industries now want to participate in these initiatives and join the market of green, social and sustainable bonds to finance products that fall under the categories defined by the Green Bond Principles. These factors have led to a decrease in activity in the bond market on a global scale and an even greater decline of 25% on a national scale compared to 2017. The sector with the greatest descent was corporate clients, while the public sector is the sector that held up the best. In 2018, there was declining activity in the bond business due to an increase in market volatility. In Europe, the total volume of issued bonds totalled €1.47 trillion, approximately 10% less than in 2017. Furthermore, 2018 witnessed the consolidation of trends like green bonds -which have been on the market for more than ten years now – and the emergence of products related to new technologies.

Is the Bond Market Still a Good Investment in 2019

Outside of the United States, negative bond yields have already become normal in Germany and Japan. The graph below shows real government bond returns for the 20th century. All of the countries listed in the table below showed positive real returns on their equity markets during this period. Many retail investors shun the bond market because it does not offer the same level of potential upside as the stock market. While the bond market is different from the stock market, it should not be ignored.

The two-year Treasury yield is approaching the mid-2023 expected fed funds rate

According to Fuss, the bond market experienced more development and innovation in the last two decades of the 20th century than it had in the previous two centuries. For example, new asset classes such as inflation-protected securities, asset-backed securities , mortgage-backed securities, high-yield securities, and catastrophe bonds were created.

I’ve devoted my career to following the capital markets and managing fixed income assets. I founded Gray Capital Management LLC and before that was Head of Taxable Fixed Income at Fidelity Investments.

Muted Outperformance of Credit

Geopolitical concerns around China’s ties to Russia warrant higher risk premia, we think.Emerging marketsWe are neutral EM equities on the back of slowing global growth. Within the asset classes, we lean toward commodity exporters over importers.Asia ex-JapanWe are neutral Asia ex-Japan equities. China’s near-term cyclical rebound is a positive yet we don’t see valuations compelling enough to turn overweight.Fixed incomeU.S. We see long-term yields moving up further as investors demand a greater term premium. We prefer short-maturity bonds instead and expect a steepening of the yield curveGlobal inflation-linked bondsWe are overweight global inflation-linked bonds and now prefer Europe. The pullback in euro area breakeven rates since May suggests markets are underappreciating the inflationary pressures from the energy shock.European government bondsWe are neutral European government bonds.

Interest rates plunged and we saw a peak level of negative-yielding debt during the summer months of 2019. Nearly all of the leading banks globally rely on us to benchmark performance, identify sales opportunities and understand how technology is impacting their business. The decline in rates, combined with the credit spread compression, caused Is the Bond Market Still a Good Investment in 2019 the Investment Grade Credit component of the Aggregate Index to be the top performer, returning 13.80% for the year. The Government sector and the Mortgage sector lagged significantly, returning only 6.83% and 6.44%, respectively. Rates dropped the most in the front end of the curve as the Fed cut interest rates 3 times during the year.


Mr. Tumin says high-yield savings accounts from online banks and credit unions offer the “most bang for the buck” for savers today. While brick and mortar banks and credit union savings accounts pay less than 0.2 percent on average, there are plenty of online savings accounts with yields ranging from 1.7 percent to above 2 percent. “The barriers to cutting rates seem pretty high, and the barriers to raising rates from here are higher still,” Mr. Pyle said. Volatility profiles based on trailing-three-year calculations of the standard deviation of service investment returns. Investors should read and carefully consider all information found in the applicable fund’s prospectus and other reports filed with the U.S. This week’s chart looks at daily yield changes on 2-year and 10-year Treasury yields as rate volatility in 2022 has dwarfed that of last year.

  • A disciplined approach to managing investment assets, based on deep analysis, research and experience, will be critical in the years ahead to remain on track toward your goals while keeping risk in check.
  • Inflation risk is still relevant, although it’s expected to be less of a concern for the next several years, due to continued Fed intervention.
  • Opportunities for higher yields and return potential still do and likely will continue to exist.
  • Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace.
  • Such market indicators tend to be driven by large, public, and rated issuers.
  • Looking beyond the aggregate data, Figure 3 considers issuers with different ratings and sizes and plots investor composition at the end of 2019.

Predictions for 2019 indicate that the liquidity available to investors will remain at similar levels from 2018, with bond volume recovering. BBVA also played an essential role as an issuer in this market, issuing the first green bond for €1 billion last May, the largest amount issued by a eurozone bank yet. Of the operations formalized this year, the inaugural bonds issued by ACS Servicios Comunicaciones y Energía for €750 million, and the Basque government for €500 million stand out. The former was a green bond, and the latter a social bond – both led by BBVA, which structured the bonds. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool’s premium services. Halfway through 2022, this week’s chart revisits the Agg’s monthly returns as expected rate volatility spikes.

Household balance sheets are in great shape this cycle and have spent the better part of this decade deleveraging. This again should allow the consumer to carry the economy forward at trend GDP growth rates around 2.0%.

Do bonds still make sense in a lower-for-longer interest rate environment?

Don’t assume that an investment in a long-term bond fund is the ticket to performance, just because it has a higher yield. These were the average annual five-year returns of three Vanguard funds through April 30, 2013, just before the bond market began to weaken. Thomas Kenny is an expert on investing, including bonds, ETFs, and mutual funds.

Is the Bond Market Still a Good Investment in 2019

The sharp increase in interest rates and coinciding decrease in bond prices to start 2022 resulted in the worst-performing quarter for investment-grade fixed income in over 40 years. Market valuations for bonds have fallen swiftly, but short-term price swings can occur across all asset classes, including fixed income. Seeing green in 2019 wasn’t just for government bonds, as riskier segments of the bond market fared better. TheS&P U.S. Aggregate Index—designed to measure the U.S. bond market by capturing U.S. Treasuries, agencies, mortgages, and investment-grade corporate bonds—posted its best return of the decade with a 7.4% return. Looking deeper into segments of the bond market, what was extraordinary was the depth and breadth of positive returns in the U.S. as well as globally. The S&P U.S. Dollar Global Investment Grade Corporate Bond Index posted the strongest return among the aggregate sectors.

Nowhere to hide in the bond markets this year

Leading firms are asking ‘what’s next’ after measuring loyalty for many years but not fully leveraging customer insights to increase cross-sell, boost customer retention and drive operational efficiencies. High-value account intelligence that helps identify addressable revenue opportunities, provides the qualitative insights to understand performance on key drivers of wallet share and enriches CRM.

Although the fund seeks to preserve the value of your investment at $1.00 per share, it is possible to lose money by investing in the fund. This same dynamic played out to an even greater degree among world-bond funds, with the USD-hedged category returning 8.7%, 200 basis points above the unhedged category’s return of 6.7%. Investors will likely keep sending cash into bond funds in 2020, according to Ned Davis Research—and that could help fuel future market gains. « People are starting to take those profits and move them into equities, where we’re starting to see kind of a warming equity market, » he said in the same « ETF Edge » interview. According to Crane Money Fund Intelligence, the average brokerage sweep account had a yield of 0.13 percent in December.

Should I take my money out of the market?

In the case of cash, taking your money out of the stock market requires that you compare the growth of your cash portfolio, which will be negative over the long term as inflation erodes your purchasing power, against the potential gains in the stock market. Historically, the stock market has been the better bet.

The 10-year ratio started the year at 67%, rose to its highest point of 105% on 20 May, then fell to 91% by quarter end. The long-term ratio to Treasuries rose from 78% to a high of 110%, then ended the quarter at 101%, compared to its long-term average of 93%. All of these factors helped reduce longer-term inflation expectations by more than 100 basis points over the last month, establishing the recent trading range for the 10-year Treasury bond between 2.80% and 3.30%. While the June employment report indicated that the labor market remains solid, average hourly earnings growth has decelerated and layoffs and hiring freeze announcements are slightly higher. The Morningstar Portfolio Review tool compares and analyzes your portfolio holdings.

TIPS prices have declined, offsetting the CPI adjustments

Taxable municipal bond issuance declined largely because the increase in Treasury yields pushed up the borrowing costs for taxable municipal bond issuers, making refinancing less attractive. Taxable municipal supply was only $118 billion compared to $146 billion in 2020. The central bank’s balance sheet has more than doubled from $4.1 trillion to over $8.7 trillion in the past two years and reducing it would draw excess cash out of the financial system. Market speculation around rate rises suddenly went from whether there would be two or three hikes this year, to whether there would be three or four.

  • In the first edition of MuniTV, John Miller joins Purva Patel to talk about the first quarter for municipal fixed income investors and what to watch for as the Fed shifts its focus toward inflation.
  • In Hong Kong, this material is issued by BlackRock Asset Management North Asia Limited and has not been reviewed by the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong.
  • As can be seen in the table below, if interest rates fell by 100 basis points, the 7 year would return 7.59%, which is less than last year’s Aggregate Index return.
  • Inflation peaked at the end of the First and Second World Wars as a result of increased government spending during those periods.
  • The end of this means much starker trade-offs, as the orange line shows.
  • On the other hand, bank-loan funds lagged most other categories, with the average loan fund returning 7.5% for the year.
  • Your Shepherd investment team is dedicated to managing your savings with a philosophy centered around risk management.

Prior to the recovery in air travel, and in corresponding revenues for airports, the sector benefited from solid pre-pandemic liquidity that was further bolstered by three rounds of financial support from the federal government. The airport sector took somewhat longer to see passenger traffic recover, as it was impacted by ongoing restrictions and a lingering fear of public transportation. However, the airport sector is now experiencing a strong recovery, and most airports are observing passenger traffic at or near pre-pandemic levels. Domestic leisure travel is now exceeding pre-Covid levels at many airports, while international and business travel have been slower to recover. TSA daily checkpoint travel data during June 2022 was approximately 90% of the June 2019 average.

Stock funds, meanwhile, do well when investors see bigger profits ahead for companies. Low Volatility ETFs invest in securities with low volatility characteristics. These funds tend to have relatively stable share prices, and higher than average yields. Municipal bond funds have seen positive net flows for 47 weeks straight, including a record-setting $2.4 billion in the final week of November. Investors have added a whopping $82.7 billion to muni funds this year, crushing the previous record of $81 billion in 2009. All said, the S&P Municipal Bond Index saw average monthly returns of 0.17% in 2019, which translated into a year-to-date gain of 6.91%. The bond market has enjoyed a long run, but there are signs that the run has come to a halt.

Is the Bond Market Still a Good Investment in 2019

Fixed income securities are subject to increased loss of principal during periods of rising interest rates. Fixed-income investments are subject to various other risks including changes in credit quality, market valuations, liquidity, prepayments, early redemption, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.


The events that would cause nominal rates to fall, such as severe economic weakness with fear of recession, would cause credit spreads to widen. If spreads widen, that would further lead to underperformance in bonds. Additionally, as measured by the ICE BofAML US Corporate BBB Effective Yield chart below, corporate bond yields are at all-time lows.

However, outperformance versus Treasuries is likely to be more muted in 2022, given how much credit spreads have already tightened. We think 2022 will be more of a “carry” year, with total return coming more from coupons and less from price appreciation arising from a tightening of credit spreads over Treasury yields. But the recommendation to avoid duration or interest rate risk is backward-looking and probably comes too late. Again, shift your mindset to a forward-looking view of the bond market. The market consensus is that rates will rise, and the prices of short-, intermediate-, and long-term issues already reflect that belief. Today’s market prices for longer-term bonds already factor in investors’ expectations for rising rates, which is why prices are cheaper. If that consensus view were to play out, there would be no advantage in shifting to shorter-term bonds or going to cash.

Slowing global growth is a risk.ChinaWe are neutral Chinese equities. Activity is restarting, but we see 2022 growth below official targets.

When yields are low and the prices for domestic bonds are looking to be under pressure in 2022, active management with broad diversity and the potential for high yields looks attractive. PRSNX pays off on all fronts in this regard, albeit with higher risk from lower credit-quality bonds. While this can help to provide greater returns and higher yields compared to bonds in the aggregate, the credit risk is higher.