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Solid Options Still Remain in High-Yield Market

Despite muted expectations for the high-yield space, Morningstar analyst Sumit Desai identifies two solid funds for investors seeking exposure.

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Sumit Desai: High-yield bonds are at the crossroads between fixed income and equities. Historically, this space has shown a higher correlation to equities, but recently many fixed income investors have been looking to the high-yield space for higher yields and income. Over the past 12 months, over $18 billion has flown into this space and has driven strong returns. Over the past five years, the category has returned, on average, an 11.8% annualized return. Year to date, the category has returned 4.4%.

Going forward, we think investors should have muted expectations for this space. The strong demand has driven valuations--as measured by absolute yields and spreads over Treasuries--to near all-time lows, leaving little room for upside going forward. The corporate fundamental outlook remains strong, and companies should be able to make their interest payments without any problem. That being said, any change to this economic outlook could have a pretty sizable negative impact on the category.

Sumit Desai, CFA does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.