JPMorgan Core Plus Bond ETF JCPB benefits from the same vast fixed-income resources, seasoned portfolio managers, and collaborative process as its open-end sibling JPMorgan Core Plus Bond JCPUX; it earns a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Silver.
Launched in January 2019, this actively managed exchange-traded fund benefits from the thorough, bottom-up work of well-resourced and seasoned fundamental research analysts. Its management team also boasts considerable depth and experience. Lead managers Steve Lear, J.P. Morgan's U.S. fixed-income CIO, and Andrew Norelli have managed this ETF since inception and make broad asset-allocation decisions based on the firm’s macroeconomic forecasts and input from three veteran sector-focused comanagers, each of whom represents a specialist team from the firm's global fixed-income platform. Rick Figuly, also on the roster since inception, manages the securitized sleeve, while Lisa Coleman and Tom Hauser each joined in July 2020 and oversee the investment-grade and high-yield credit sleeves, respectively. All five of these managers each bring more than two decades of investing experience and long careers at the firm.
This strategy, which sits in the intermediate core-plus bond Morningstar Category, relies on off-benchmark stakes in high-yield credit and securitized sectors to differentiate it from its Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index. The ETF typically holds between 5% and 20% of assets in junk-rated corporates (the index features none, and many peers keep that exposure under 10%). Nonagency securitized debt makes up less than 2% of the index, but this team can invest up to 15% in commercial mortgage-backed securities, and up to 10% each in nonagency mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities; as of August 2022, the fund held 9% in high yield and 22% in nonagency securitized bonds.
This combination of top-down and bottom-up sensibilities has paid off for investors over this ETF's short track record. Since February 2019 through September 2022, its 1.2% annualized return outpaced the benchmark’s 0.5% and its distinct intermediate core-plus bond category peer median's 0.9%. This 31st percentile showing was even better on a risk-adjusted basis, as measured by Sharpe ratio, outpacing 71% of its rivals.