The meltdown of Third Avenue Management at the end of the year only added pressure to a market already strained by a prolonged interest rate debate, multiplying regulatory concerns and global investment volatility.
Once steadfast high-yield bond funds have stumbled – the average 1-year return of the top 10 performers was -4.84%, Morningstar data shows. The same data shows that a decade ago, these funds had an average return of 5.95%.
Investors, though, can reap higher yields, as nearly 9% of the high-yield market now reports yields above 20% —the most since the financial crisis, Bloomberg says. These high-yield percentages may not sustain themselves. Investment-grade bonds sold, meanwhile, soared to an "unprecedented" $1.3 trillion, according to Goldman Sachs.
Goldman analysts also note ETFs and mutual funds now own a record 25% of the corporate bond market, with ETFs comprising the minority at an estimated 3%.
"While the high-yield and investment-grade market has withstood significant mutual fund outflows (in 2014 for high-yield and in 2015 for investment grade) without directly causing sustained spread dislocation, redemption risk in the new bond architecture remains to be tested," according to a Goldman Sachs analyst.
Here, we have highlighted the largest 10 high-yield bond funds, which manage a combined $111 billion, by their year-to-date net assets.
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