How Have Bond Funds Done This Year?

As the newest high-yield bond fund, Goldman Sachs Access High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (GHYB) launched to some fanfare Thursday. It's a good time to check on the performance of bonds (and bond funds) this year. Stocks get the lion's share of the financial media's attention, but bond funds can provide diversification, and almost all provide better yields than the S&P 500's puny 1.92%. I haven't had time to analyze Goldman's new ETF yet, but if the question is, "How have bond funds done in 2017?" the simple answer is they have performed well ... and certainly outperformed Goldman's lagging stock (GS) . 

The ETF database I use lists 322 separate fixed-income ETFs and iShares alone offers 84, but for the sake of clarity, I'll use a few of the iShares flagship ETFs to represent fixed-income subcategories. The most basic iShares fund, iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG) , has posted a 3.79% total return thus far in 2017 based on Morningstar's performance data. For those willing to stomach more risk, the benchmark iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG) has returned 5.27% thus far in 2017. Bonds from emerging markets have been one of the hot categories this year, and have generated a lot of chatter among my friends who work at hedge funds. The performance has lived up to the hype, as iShares Emerging Markets High Yield Bond ETF (EMHY) has posted an 8.65% return thus far this year. ...445 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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