Reaching for Yield: Worth the Risk?

Investors seeking more robust returns in a lower-interest-rate environment often look to high-yield bonds for answers. But it’s critical that they don’t reach too far down the credit spectrum in search of higher yields—as tempting as it may be.

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High Yield: The Perfect Storm That Wasn’t

In a year when the US Federal Reserve caused jitters over quantitative easing, the US government endured a shutdown and investors shifted focus to equities, it’s no surprise that pure “duration-sensitive” bonds like US Treasuries had negative returns as interest rates spiked. But high yield emerged relatively unscathed, returning over 7% for the year.

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Want Safer Yield? Cycle to Europe

Gershon Distenfeld (pictured) and Jørgen Kjærsgaard For high-yield investors with large US credit exposures, these are uncertain times. The pricing of securities is becoming more volatile, spurred by interest-rate volatility, and companies are borrowing more, causing concern about their future creditworthiness. The solution, in our view, is to diversify—and we regard the European high-yield markets as attractive.

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Breaking Down Borders in High Yield

After a multiyear rally, many high-yield investors are looking for new strategies to better balance risk and return. We don’t think a deep dive into riskier credits is the answer. Instead, investors should consider moving beyond traditional boundaries—both geographic and in credit rating.

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High-Yield Won’t Bubble Over

It’s easy to spot a bubble after it bursts. Just follow the carnage—significant, and sometimes complete, losses for investors. It’s not so easy to pinpoint a bubble beforehand, but many are convinced that there’s too much air rushing into high-yield bonds today.

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