How Rising Interest Rates Affect Your Income Portfolio

How Rising Interest Rates Affect Your Income Portfolio Updated: 6/25/2013

By David Fabian, NASDAQ OMX Global Indexes Contributor

It has been quite a ride in both the stock and bond markets as the Federal Reserve reiterated its zero interest rate policy and bond buying programs through mid-2014. This announcement and subsequent Q&A session with Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke sent stocks, bonds, and commodities downward as investors reacted to the fears of rising interest rates.  In fact, there was virtually nowhere to hide for income investors as just about every yield producing asset class was bathed in red ink and the 10-Year Treasury Yield Index ($TNX) spiked to new year-to-date highs of 2.4% on Thursday. 

Investors that had been used to conservative returns and low volatility are starting to get nervous about the prospects for their income generating assets moving forward.  That data is confirmed by asset flows from Index Universe which list the iShares TIPS Bond Fund (TIP), iShares Investment Grade Bond Fund (LQD), SPDR Barclays High Yield Bond Fund (JNK), and iShares High Yield Bond Fund (HYG) as four of their top 10 ETFs for asset redemptions in 2013. 

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