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Dec 9, 2009 6:13 pm

Yeah, I see your point. Moraen, what do you mean by value?

  I think Vanguard is looking at blended portfolio behavior and returns. For myself, I was very unhappy with the volatility of even fifty or sixty percent bond portfolios in the last year.   Granted, there was a meltdown, and nobody was buying anything. During the next meltdown, it would be nice to  have higher quality fixed income to help hold up the the bottom line number on the statement.   Vanguard is saying, for the extra yield, and especially the currency risks, international fixed is not worth it.   Not saying my way or the highway. For that matter, I was inspired to fire most active managers and just wrap the indexes ( at a higher fee for small accounts to boot).   How many of us here are trying to beat the indexes. Clients who want advice "get" indexes plus fees, and wealthier clients who want asset management (service) just want you.   I'm just making a small point, that the idea that international bonds add "value" is probably like the idea that active management adds value. ( In some cases it obviously does.)   If the markets are tougher and absolute returns are historically lower going forward, a lot of stories will be going by the wayside ( active management, 12b1, tactical, managed futures, hedge funds and all of the fancy products the wirehouses hope to manufacture to outperform the mean).   Anyway, the point is for the advisor to get paid and do the real work, and stay in business. It seems like the less fluff, the more focus there will be on b/d's to provide efficient admin fees on wraps, and that will be good for the clients, reps and th industry.   There's a reason international bond fund ETFs have been slow to ramp up. The next time a wholesaler calls you telling stories about international bonds and diversification, ask her to prove it.
Dec 12, 2009 6:56 pm

Templeton Global Bond
Pimco Total Return
JP Morgan High Yield
Pimco Real Return
-all in equal amount

-5% in 2008 / + 21% in 2009.

You can also add Thornburg Limited Term US Government as an alternative to a money market fund. 

Great management, well diversified holdings.  Your clients will not get hurt with these funds.

Recent performance of Templeton Global Bond is a reason for caution, but they have proven that they can manage FI in any market conditions and do a better job than most of their peers.

PIMCO has the ear of government and the Democratic Policy think tanks.  PIMCO has a hand in actually shaping the economic policies of the country and certainly knows how to profit from those same decisions, probably moreso than any other bond manager at this time.

JPM High Yield has had consistent MOR performance.  This sector is so volatile that it is very difficult to pick a leading manager year after year.  Better to go with consistency instead of chasing the abosolute best return here.

Thornburg Limited Duration US Govt is run as essentially a 10y Govt Bond ladder.  ALL US Govt debt, premium coupons and relative short duration.  Great current yield for what can be used as  a money market surrogate.  When I use this fund, I tell clients this is for money they will need in 12-18mos.

Good Luck

Dec 12, 2009 11:25 pm

That is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you sir.