April showers are supposed to bring May flowers, but for bond funds, a poor April performance may just be a springboard to a yearlong outflow.
Even though the Federal Reserve decided Wednesday not to touch its benchmark rate, expectations of an interest rate hike in the near future are causing investors to shy away from bond funds in a major way, The Wall Street Journal reports. In April alone, Vanguard suffered a whopping $500 million in bond fund withdrawals.
T. Rowe Price spokesman Brian Lewbard told The Journal, "Investors dont appear to be finding bond investing as appealing as they did last year, or in the beginning of this year." March saw $2 billion come into the bond fund industry, while April saw just $230 million come in, a drastic disparity when compared with the $28 billion raked in by fixed-income and balanced funds during the first three months of the year.
Bond funds become less appealing when bullish market signs appear, because their yields rise, thus causing them to lose value. According to Lipper, bond funds lost 4.9% of their value in April.