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December was another slow month for ETF growth, as many investors were still trying to brace for the fiscal cliff, and by the end of the month many were not focused on markets, but taking time off to be with family and friends around the holidays [for updates on all new ETFs, sign up for the free ETFdb newsletter].

The re-election of President Obama in November and the looming fiscal cliff has brought a lot of confusion to the general market, which may have played a part in the ETF slowdown, along with the lowered consumer confidence. Four funds left the market, but the real excitement this month was in the filings of three funds and five funds entering the market [see Free Member Report: How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time]. 

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When managing a fixed income portfolio, there are two primary risk factors that financial advisors consider: credit risk and interest rate risk. The superstar bond fund managers of the world have set themselves apart by a superior ability to identify these risk components–and then select securities that offer superior risk-adjusted returns [see also Better-Than-AGG Total Bond Market Portfolio].

The first risk factor is easy enough to understand; the more likely an issuer of debt is to default and leave bondholders with nothing, the greater the return that will be demanded by those lending money. Companies and countries with stellar credit ratings and strong cash flow profiles can borrow funds at relatively low rates of interest, while more speculative issuers will have ot pay significantly more in interest to compensate for the additional credit risk. Disparities in credit risk explain why Wells Fargo can issue debt with a 3.75% coupon, while less stable companies such as First Data are issuing debt with coupons of about 12.6%. Many fixed income managers devote significant portions of time attempting to identify disparities between the interest companies are paying on debt and their actual credit risk; figuring out a disconnect can result in an opportunity to generate alpha.

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Guggenheim, a pioneer in the area of target date fixed income products, has responded to strong interest in its BulletShares product lineup with the launch of three more products targeting investment grade corporate debt maturing in a specific year. The recent addition, which took effect last week, extends the existing product lineup by three years, […]

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Bond ETFs For Every Objective

by on February 1, 2012 | Updated February 5, 2012

As the lineup of exchange-traded products has expanded dramatically in recent years, financial advisors have found themselves with more tools at their disposal than ever before. The extreme granularity of many of the equity products out there allows for cheap, low maintenance targeting of specific corners of the investable universe, while the development of some […]

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With 2011 just around the corner, the curtain is closing on yet another year of tremendous expansion in the ETF industry. With inflows for the year at close to $100 billion, total ETF assets will recently eclipsed the $1 trillion mark for the first time. From a product development standpoint, 2010 was a record year; […]

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In recent years, investors have grown increasingly comfortable with the thought of achieving their fixed income exposure through ETFs. Through the first six months of 2010, bond ETFs had seen cash inflows of more than $18 billion, nearly half of the total for the ETF industry as a whole. Many of the most popular bond […]

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Investors hoping to coast through the summer months learned early in June that a summer slowdown wasn’t in the cards. Trading volumes remained elevated throughout the month, and volatility continued its impressive climb higher. With the latest developments out of Europe continuing to ripple through the global economy and fresh concerns about the best approach […]

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The latest innovation in the rapidly-growing fixed income ETF space was rolled out on Friday, as Claymore introduced a line of seven ETFs, each of which focuses on corporate bonds with maturity dates falling in a specific year. The new ETFs are:

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The impressive pace of expansion in the ETF industry slowed a bit in May, as issuers introduced fewer new funds than in previous months. Still, more than a dozen new ETFs began trading last  month, including some first-to-market products, a few ETFs that will go head-to-head with established products, and the second coming of an […]

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Claymore, the Lisle, Illinois-based ETF issuer known for its line of international and sector-specific equity funds, recently filed details on a unique series of corporate bond ETFs. The recent filings included additional details on products first mentioned in November, including:

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