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This Risk-Taking Corporate Bond Fund Is on Our Radar

Greg Carlson

Greg Carlson: A fund that's on our radar right now is Western Asset Corporate Bond. This fund struggled during 2008's financial crisis as some of its higher-risk holdings were hit hard. However, it's under different leadership now. 

Ryan Brist took over the fund in early 2010. He still takes on significant credit risk even relative to the fund's typical peer. The fund can invest up to 20% of its assets in high-yield debt, and Brist is fond of bonds that ride the line between investment-grade and high-yield. However, he has managed to navigate the fund successfully through both positive and negative environments for credit risk. The fund's record is strong during the whole of its tenure.

The fund's fees are a bit above average. However, its asset base is quite small at this point. Fees should decline as the fund grows larger. We think it's an interesting choice for corporate bond exposure.