Seeking Yield? Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One (Income) Basket

Looking to generate income from your nest egg? Make sure you don’t get it all from just one basket. Karen explains two funds designed to provide income that aren’t over reliant on any one source.

Once again, yields are low… really low. This creates an obvious challenge for investors that still need their portfolios to generate income. While junk bonds offer high levels of income, you probably shouldn’t have risky junk bonds as your only income generator. But how can we build a portfolio with the primary goal of income while being mindful of not having all our eggs in one basket?

For the DIY crowd, there are an almost limitless number of income-seeking portfolios you can make with bond ETFs. You could invest in U.S. Treasuries, mortgage-backed securities, corporate bonds, emerging market debt, and even floating rate bonds. But knowing how to combine and manage these different types of bond exposures in a portfolio can be overwhelming.

A bond ETF with a lot of “baskets”

iShares Yield Optimized Bond ETF (BYLD) is optimized to simplify the process of diversified income generation. BLYD seeks to track the Morningstar® U.S. Bond Market Yield-Optimized Index which is designed to deliver current income by including bond funds that have demonstrated strong risk-adjusted returns. To do this, it dynamically updates its bond sector exposure depending on the current market environment.

The underlying index for BYLD is built from a diversified set of bond ETFs that are selected from a vigorous screening process. ETFs in in the index must have a minimum of one year of history, over $100 million in assets, and meet minimum daily trading volume to ensure liquidity. BYLD can invest in U.S. Treasuries, mortgages, and both investment grade and high yield credit (see below graphic).

In order to determine the composition of the index, Morningstar looks back over the past 3 years at indicators such as return, standard deviation or risk, correlation and yield of the eligible securities. As a result, the ETF is based on a rules-based, transparent approach to maximizing yield and keeping risk in line with the overall market. BYLD is a one ticker, low cost solution to a portfolio’s bond allocation optimized for income.