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Schwab's Fixed Income Outlook

edited June 2021 in Fund Discussions
FYI, below is the link to Schwab's very informative fixed income outlook, courtesy of poster anitya:

If nothing else, this will motivate me to take a closer look at CLMAX.



  • Thanks for that. I'm 56% bonds of all sorts, these days. But EM in my portf is tiny.
  • edited June 2021
    You’ll need to consult the resident bond expert(s) on that one. I’m more of an “allocation” guy.:)
    I’ll submit here, for what value it may hold, Randal Forsyth’s opening salvo in this week’s “Up & Down Wall Street” (Barron’s June 14).

    “Amid the optimism (or complacency), the question remains: Why would a rational investor buy bonds that yield well under the rate of inflation?”
  • Amid the optimism (or complacency), the question remains: Why would a rational investor buy bonds that yield well under the rate of inflation?”
    I had the same question. Still prefer balanced funds instead.
  • edited June 2021
    I’ll try to answer Forsyth’s query with another question:

    “Why would a rational homeowner buy homeowner’s insurance knowing there’s a higher than 90% probability he will lose all the premiums paid in without ever reclaiming a single dime?”
  • It is the 10% probability that the homeowners will need the insurance against natural disasters including fire, wind storm and others. Several years ago our house was damaged by a large tree fallen on the side of the house. The total bill came to about $30K. I expect homeowner insurance will rise again given the replacement cost of our home has gone up considerably.

    Given the global warming, flood insurance is on the rise on southeast coast as the major cities faces several hurricanes per year. Living in Pacific Northwest we experienced wildfires last year.
  • edited June 2021
    I have some cash sitting on the sideline looking for a home. CLMAX has been on my watch list for a while as a fund that actively, and mostly successfully, tries to manage interest rate risk. If, as the Schwab outlook states, 10-year Treasury yields may rise to the 2.0% to 2.5% level, I expect this fund to be able to navigate the expected rate rise as well as it did in the recent past when rates rose.

    I don't know of any other fund that has managed interest rate volatility as well and as consistently as CLMAX. Over the past five years, annual total returns have fluctuated nicely within a range of 5.2 and 8.9%, and YTD it's up 6.1%. In the Nontraditional Bond category, M* determined that the fund's 3-year and 5-year total returns rank in the top 1%.

    In the meantime, I hold the following three dedicated bond funds in my portfolio: NVHAX, RCTIX and TSIIX, with very pleasing YTD total returns of 5.9%, 3.6% and 1.8%, respectively. So far, so good.

  • edited June 2021
    @fred495 - Thanks for the great summary. You make a strong case. I didn’t miss your original meaning / intent.

    At a glance, I’d say these guys know how to short bonds & employ leverage thru derivatives. I like to check returns back to at least 2008 when possible. This one’s less than 10 years old. I’m sure there’s a place for a fund like this in some folks’ portfolios. But if you hold bonds for the “old fashioned” reason - to hedge against economic calamity (like 2008) - than shorting investment grade bonds ISTM probably isn’t going to achieve the desired effect. Possibly these guys are quick on their feet and good at changing course.

    Bonds today are a bit of a mystery. Just when everybody and his brother was expecting the 10-year to rise from around 1.7% to 2% it reversed course and fell all the way down to 1.46% (at last look). I’ve heard 2 reasons put forth: (1) Even these low rates look attractive to foreign investors; (2) Corporate pension funds are again healthy because of the hot stock market and need to lock-up funds in bonds to meet obligations 30 + years out. So they’re pouring stock gains into fixed income products.

  • @fred495 : Did you listen to this weeks Wealthtrack ? Mr. Rosenberg seems to think 30 year U.S. treasuries may be the way to make some money. This seems to be the opposite to CLMAX. Any comments welcome, from anyone.
    Stay Kool, Derf
  • edited June 2021
    I just noticed fred’s link to Schwab isn’t working.

    Try This

    Here’s the gist:

    “Due to our expectations for higher bond yields in the second half of the year, we continue to suggest investors keep the average duration in their portfolios below their normal benchmark. For example, for an investor with a portfolio of core bonds that is similar to the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index, which has an average duration of 6.5 years, we would suggest reducing it to the three- to five-year region. If yields do move higher, with real yields in positive territory, we would view it as an opportunity to gradually extend duration through a laddered approach.”

    I just dug up the MaxFunds take on CLMAX:

    Score: 9 / 100 "Poor"


    Forecast: -2%

    Best Case: 22

    Worst Case: -30%


    Always - 2 sides to every proposition.:)
  • edited June 2021
    CLMAX can't be all that bad if it's on MFO's Honor Roll, and M* awards the fund its highest rating: five stars.

  • edited June 2021
    Best thing is to read the Prospectus and make your own informed judgment. It’s your money at risk - no one else’s. Really depends on what you’re trying to achieve reletaive to various market scenarios that may unfold.

    ( )

    I’ll be the first to admit Ol’ Max Ferris (proprietor of MaxFunds) seems to have a dour disposition when it comes to grading funds. Few that I own score very highly there. But I like to look at a fund from as many different perspectives as possible before buying. It’s not the only place I look, but I value their opinion nonetheless.
  • Sounds like you have made up your mind--hope you are pleased with it!
  • edited June 2021
    I think it's pretty "easy". If you believe in Schwab view, then CLMAX will be a good choice.
    In the last 4 + 12 weeks, CLMAX ranks at 94+72 and lagging badly with 0% + 0.9%.

    CLMAX has a good record in the riskier specialized securitized when you look at 3 years, but as a trader I'm looking at a shorter-term.

    Generally, I like Schwab take on fixed income more than most others (VG, Fidelity) but I hardly ever use it for my trades.
  • Well CLMAX did something right today: MBB (ishares MBS ETF) down 0.37%, VMBS (Vanguard MBS index fund ETF) down 0.32%, CLMAX up 0.37%.
  • I finally decided to buy shares in CLMAX yesterday. However, if you think that interest rates may go down, better stay away.

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