The recent resignation of “bond king” Bill Gross as manager of the Pimco Total Return Fund, by far the biggest bond fund in the world, has many investors wondering where to go to find a safe and attractive mainstream bond fund now. What to do…
Avoid the Pimco fund, which has become more unwieldy and aggressive than most investors want in a core fund, and shift any money you have in it to more appropriate funds.
Don’t follow Gross to the Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund. So-called unconstrained funds have few restrictions on what kinds of fixed-income investments they can make, which could lead to sudden and dramatic shifts. That works for some investors but not for many of those who are looking for a core fund.
Consider the following attractive funds that invest in high-quality bonds…are a manageable size…are not very volatile…and that have performed well. (One happens to be from the fund company that Gross left and the other from the one he went to.)
Janus Flexible Bond Fund (JDFRX), which focuses on corporate bonds, has outperformed Pimco Total Return over the past five years with far less volatility.
Pimco Income Fund (PONRX), run by Daniel Ivascyn, who was named to replace Gross as Pimco’s chief investment officer, has produced steady income without too much risk by investing in mortgages, government and corporate debt and foreign bonds. The fund recently yielded 3.4%, and its 12% annualized five-year returns were more than double those of Pimco Total Return.