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CIP Quips

Yield Curve Anatomy

Did You Know...  

The U.S. Treasury Yield Curve is one of the most used charts to explain economic health. Typically the longer end of the curve will show higher yields and as the curve climbs, risk premiums and inflation risk increase. Ergo, the shape of the curve can serve as a good indicator of growth and inflation.

When yields on longer term bonds are greater than yields of shorter term bonds, the normal yield curve reflects an expectation of economic health.

But when those longer term yields increase substantially more than shorter rates, the curve is said to steepen, indicating an anticipation of rapid economic growth - and too much or too fast can lead to heightened inflation concerns.

With a flat yield curve, longer term and shorter term rates are generally equal, highlighting uncertainty in most areas of the market.

Historically, an inverted curve is the sign of a recession or one on the horizon.

So why the brief yield curve lesson?  The yield curve not only serves as a barometer for economic health, but also as a tool from which bond strategies can be derived. To maximize portfolio performance one of two yield curve strategies are most commonly employed, a Laddered Strategy [1] or a Barbell Strategy [2].  Depending on future changes to interest rates along the yield curve’s maturity range, each strategy will respond in different ways and to different degrees. Our Current Income Portfolio is unique in that it presently uses both approaches.    


What are we thinking?

Positioning along the yield curve is important for a variety of reasons, but we believe it’s just one block in building a bond portfolio. To reach our goal of creating a risk conscious and conservative portfolio that delivers stable, predictable, and attractive levels of income, we need to find yield in both low rate and rising rate environments. Taking the measure of current market conditions, sifting through a company’s capital structure and blending intermediate and short term investment grade corporate bonds with fixed and fixed-to-floating rate investment grade preferred securities, and monitoring risk metrics to ensure optimal yield curve positioning, guides us to increasing portfolio income. 


[1] Simply explained, a Barbell Strategy looks to include the two ends of the curve in a portfolio, for example a bond maturing in 3 years and a bond maturing in 10 years.  

[2] A laddered Strategy looks to invest equally in bonds maturing periodically. The bonds in the portfolio mature as per schedule and each year and as those bonds mature money is reinvested into the next longest maturity. 



This information is intended solely to report on investment strategies and opportunities identified by Roosevelt. Opinions and estimates offered constitute our judgment and are subject to change without notice, as are statements of financial market trends, which are based on current market conditions. This material is not intended as an offer or solicitation to buy, hold or sell any financial instrument. References to specific securities and their issuers are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to be, and should not be interpreted as, recommendations to purchase or sell such securities. Please contact us at 646-452-6700 if there is any change in your financial situation, needs, goals or objectives, or if you wish to initiate any restrictions on the management of the account or modify existing restrictions, or if you would like to request a copy of our Code of Ethics. Our current disclosure statement is set forth on our Form ADV Part II, available for your review upon request, and on our website, www.rooseveltinvestments.com.

Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot accommodate direct investment. Themes assigned as per Roosevelt Investments’ evaluation. Risk tools may include cash or other securities that we believe possess a low or inverse correlation to the overall market.


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The Roosevelt Investment Group, Inc. is an independent investment management firm that is not affiliated with any parent organization. The Roosevelt Investment Group, Inc. manages equity, fixed income, and balanced assets for primarily U.S. clients. The Roosevelt Investment Group, Inc. is an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and notice filed in all 50 states.

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