JPMorgan Core Bond boasts seasoned portfolio managers, the vast resources of JPMorgan’s fixed income franchise, and a time-tested process, earning a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Silver for its cheapest share class and Bronze and Neutral for its more-expensive share classes.
Portfolio manager Rick Figuly, a multidecade firm veteran and head of JPMorgan’s core bond team, leads this effort with the support of comanager Justin Rucker and U.S. fixed-income CIO Steve Lear. Figuly and Rucker work alongside a broader group of experienced portfolio managers in Columbus, Ohio, who have built up a strong record of applying their value-driven approach to selecting attractively valued securities that generate strong cash flows. Their supporting credit research, trading, and operational resources, based across the United States and beyond, are robust and becoming more closely integrated.
Rather than take on significant interest rate risk, the team seeks to outperform its intermediate core bond Morningstar Category rivals by focusing on spread sectors, sensible sector rotation, and strong security selection. The managers keep duration within 10% of the Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index and includes only investment-grade bonds at the time of purchase. A historical focus on securitized debt differentiates this strategy from peers and its benchmark; this allocation has included everything from plain-vanilla mortgage passthroughs to commercial mortgage-backed securities, out-of-benchmark agency collateralized mortgage obligations, and nonagency MBS. More recently, in response to changing markets and relative value opportunities, the strategy has begun increasing its allocation to corporate bonds.
Absolute and risk-adjusted performance is strong over the trailing 10 years ended March 2022; its R6 share class posted a 2.6% annualized result, 30 basis points better than peers. In addition, its resiliency when markets have stuttered contributed to a lower level of volatility (as measured by standard deviation) over the same period.
This bond strategy offers investors a consistent, value-driven approach, backed by seasoned portfolio managers and the deep resources of JPMorgan.