JPMorgan Mortgage-Backed Securities benefits from an experienced team of collaborators with a compelling record of selecting mortgages and other securitized fare. These advantages support a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Silver on the strategy’s cheapest share class, while its more expensive share classes earn Bronze or Neutral ratings.
Comanagers on this fund include Rick Figuly, who serves as head of the firm’s core bond group; Michael Sais, a two-decade mortgage strategy manager; and Andy Melchiorre, who was appointed here in 2019 and brings a background as a securitized analyst to the role. Their positioning calls draw inspiration from the mortgage expertise of a seasoned pool of securitized specialists in the firm’s Columbus-based office, as well as the research and quantitative tools provided by the broader firm.
The team deftly applies its expertise in mortgage analysis to offer a uniquely structured offering in the intermediate core bond Morningstar Category. Agency mortgages dominate the picture, consistently occupying 60%-75% of the portfolio. In line with its Bloomberg Barclays U.S. MBS Index benchmark, traditional passthroughs are the focus here; there is also a healthy out-of-benchmark allocation to collateralized mortgage obligations. The remainder of the assets are distributed across a mix of U.S. Treasuries, commercial mortgage-backed securities, nonagency MBS, and asset-backed securities.
The strategy’s contours differ from many of its category peers. Its lack of investment-grade corporate credit exposure will cause it to lag more credit-focused options when markets are frothy, but in broadly risk-averse markets, its high-quality, mortgage-centric holdings tend to give it a boost. This resiliency, paired with the team’s strong security selection and subtle shifts between securitized sectors, has paid off. From July 2005 through August 2021, the Institutional share class generated a 4.6% annualized return that handily outpaced its typical rival with the highest risk-adjusted return (as measured by Sharpe ratio) in its category.