The benchmark index doesn't reflect the true allocations of U.S. bond investors, and the industry needs to look again at corporate-bond index funds or rework the current index, says Vanguard founder Jack Bogle.
The outlook for bonds is just as cloudy as ever, but Morningstar's Miriam Sjoblom and Marta Norton offer helpful tips for setting the right expectations and creating a game plan in today's challenging bond market.
Many managers are of the mind that rates have gone about as far as they're going to go for a while, so investors probably don't want to exit the bond market while their funds are down, reports Morningstar's Eric Jacobson. Plus, get an update on fund category performance in the second quarter as well as updates on fund leaders and laggards, including PIMCO Total Return.
Following a first quarter that saw riskier assets outperform, and a second quarter marked by a flight to Treasuries, investors would do well to review the suitability of their current portfolio allocations, says Morningstar's director of fixed-income research.
The bond markets proved their resiliency in 2009, recovering dramatically from both a severe credit crisis and a deep economic recession. In a recent panel discussion, three of T. Rowe Price’s senior bond managers outlined what changed in 2009 and where the market may be heading in 2010. The panel included Steve Huber, manager of the T. Rowe Price Strategic Income Fund; Mark Vaselkiv, manager of the T. Rowe Price High Yield Fund and a 21-year veteran with the firm; and Mike Conelius, also a 21-year veteran with T. Rowe Price and manager of the T. Rowe Price Emerging Markets Bond Fund. How the Bond Market Turned the Corner Bond markets rallied in 2009 after investors nearly abandoned higher-yielding groups–corporate bonds, high-yield bonds, and emerging market bonds–during the crisis of 2008. As many altered course, the global bond market experienced one of its best annual performances. Treasuries struggled, however, hampered by low yields and fears about inflation. Several key events helped produce this fast-paced recovery: • Fed efforts to improve market liquidity proved largely successful. Many companies issued new bonds, providing an attractive stream of new opportunities for investors. • As the economy stabilized, investors became more willing to take risks and look for possible bargains. • [...]