To download a copy of our research note entitled ‘Why an allocation to floating rate credit (aka hybrids) makes sense Click Here and follow the prompts.
In our note we examine the correlation between equity and hybrid sector returns and fixed rate bond and hybrid sector returns. We found, not surprisingly, that hybrid returns were uncorrelated to both. While hybrid and fixed rate bond returns are uncorrelated the returns are even more uncorrelated when fixed rate bonds experience a negative return period. This is particularly pertinent if you expect bond yields to rise (prices to fall) from their current levels of just below 4%.
The correlation between equities and hybrids is not as clear cut. The correlation to equities is low except during event shocks such as a GFC type event when the correlation is extremely high. From the equity portfolio perspective the benefit of making an allocation to hybrids is dependent upon your view of the frequency of major event shocks such as the GFC.
Not only does making an allocation to floating rate credit make sense from the risk reduction perspective at the total portfolio level but as a standalone investment it makes sense too. In risk adjusted terms it is extremely difficult to see how Australian floating rate credit can under-perform equities. In view of the current margins and the high term structure of interest rates we think Australian floating rate credit has the potential to out-perform equities not just in risk adjusted terms but in absolute terms as well.