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This Short-Term Bond Fund Is on Our Radar

Thompson Bond's strong performance, experienced team, patient process, and strong results make it one to watch.


Kenneth Oshodi: Thompson Bond has a stable and experienced team, straightforward and consistent process, and category-topping returns since inception. And though it hasn't garnered as much attention as some of the better-known names in its short-term bond category, it's come onto our radar here at Morningstar.

Managers John W. Thompson, James Evans, and Jason Stephens use fundamental analysis across a portfolio of corporate, government, and agency debt to maximize yield. And although the team's goal here is to adjust the portfolio to take advantage of a variety of market opportunities, this fund consistently holds much more corporate and BBB-rated exposure than its median peer and its Bloomberg Barclays US Govt/Credit 1-5 YR Index benchmark.

This credit-heavy approach has led to several severe bouts of volatility and underperformance in the past. But the team is willing to deal with momentary of pain in pursuit of long-term gains, and their patient approach has certainly paid off. This fund's 5.8% annualized return over 10 years through July 31, 2017, is best in category.

With that said, fees for this fund are above-average among short-term peers, which is especially meaningful in this low-yielding category. But the fund's positives, which include a long-tenured team, effective process, and strong performance, help to make this a bond fund that investors should have on their radar.

Kenneth Oshodi does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.