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Rising Rate Protection and High Yields Drive Investor Interest in Bond ETF

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Investors Seek Protection and High Yields in Bond ETF Amid Rising Rates

As Treasury yields reach their highest levels in over a decade, investors are turning to the Invesco Senior Loan ETF (BKLN), which offers built-in protection against rising rates. The ETF has attracted nearly $400 million in inflows over the past week and has outperformed major stock and bond funds with a modest decline of less than 1% in September.

Unique Investment Strategy

BKLN differentiates itself by investing in loans made by banks and financial institutions, which typically have floating interest rates. This feature makes the fund less vulnerable to interest rate risk compared to competitors that primarily hold fixed-yield bonds.

Shift in Investor Interest

The recent surge in inflows represents a notable shift in investor sentiment towards BKLN. Despite experiencing net outflows year to date, the fund has attracted $789 million in inflows over the past month. Its appeal is partly due to its high payout, boasting a 30-day SEC yield of nearly 8.5%, resulting in a total return of 9.31% year to date, according to FactSet.

Outperformance and Comparison

BKLN's strong performance is not solely attributed to the different risk profiles of Treasuries versus corporate debt. For instance, the Vanguard Total Corporate Bond ETF (VTC) has only achieved a total return of less than 1% year to date. BKLN's top holdings consist mostly of loans set to mature within the three-to-seven year window, contributing to its success.

Considerations and Potential Risks

It is important to note that many loans in BKLN's portfolio may be considered "junk bonds." Moreover, the market for bank loans is less liquid than the Treasury market, which means prices could experience faster declines during times of market stress. In the event of a rate cut by the Federal Reserve, BKLN may underperform and witness reduced payouts. Additionally, the fund's management fee of 0.65% is higher compared to funds tracking Treasury indexes and broader corporate debt. As investors seek protection against rising rates and pursue higher yields, BKLN's unique investment strategy has garnered significant attention. However, it is crucial for investors to carefully evaluate the potential risks and consider their investment objectives before allocating funds to this bond ETF.

Implications of Rising Rates and High-Yield Bond ETFs for New Businesses

The surge in Treasury yields is steering investors towards the Invesco Senior Loan ETF (BKLN), a bond ETF with protection against rising rates. This shift in investor sentiment could have significant implications for new businesses, particularly those in the financial sector.

Investment Strategy and Its Impact

BKLN's strategy of investing in floating-rate loans made by banks and financial institutions makes it less susceptible to interest rate risk. This approach could influence new businesses in the financial sector to consider similar strategies, focusing on floating-rate loans rather than fixed-yield bonds.

Investor Interest and Business Opportunities

The recent influx of funds into BKLN indicates a shift in investor preferences towards high-yield, lower-risk investments. This trend could present opportunities for new businesses to offer similar investment products that cater to these preferences.

Performance Comparison and Market Positioning

BKLN's strong performance, compared to other funds like the Vanguard Total Corporate Bond ETF (VTC), could inspire new businesses to emulate its investment strategy. However, they would need to carefully consider the maturity window of their investments to ensure success.

Risks and Considerations for New Businesses

While BKLN's strategy has proven successful, it's important for new businesses to consider the associated risks. Many of BKLN's loans could be classified as "junk bonds," and the market for bank loans is less liquid than the Treasury market. These factors, along with potential rate cuts by the Federal Reserve and higher management fees, could impact the profitability and viability of similar business models. As investors navigate the rising rate environment, new businesses can leverage these trends to identify opportunities and develop strategies. However, a careful evaluation of potential risks is crucial to ensure sustainable growth and success.
Story First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/22/investors-are-jumping-into-this-bond-etf-that-has-protection-against-rising-rates-and-yields-over-8percent.html
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