CLO Rule Change Clouds Outlook for Bank Loans

Retail investors fell out of love with US bank loans this year, but demand from issuers of collateralized loan obligations (CLOs) has remained strong. New regulations may change that. Should investors be concerned? We think so.

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Don’t Skip the Homework: High Yield’s Overlooked Risks

Posted by Gershon Distenfeld (pictured) and Ivan Rudolph-Shabinsky of AllianceBernstein (NYSE: AB) Many investors have taken on more risk in their quest for higher returns—especially as signs have pointed to interest rates staying stable until next year. But two key elements are often overlooked: default risk and underwriting standards.

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Energy Future Holdings Default Highlights Risks of Leveraged Loans

The Texas-sized bankruptcy of Energy Future Holdings, formerly known as TXU, may have been one of the more anticipated defaults of the past few years, but investors can still learn a lesson or two from it.

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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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