Scared of Bonds? Buffer ETFs as a Bond Fund Alternative

For the 10 years prior to the great financial crisis of 2008 (GFC), the 10-year Treasury bond’s average yield was 5.0%; for the 10 calendar years ended December 2020, it averaged just 2.3%, less than half its pre-crisis average (Source: Bloomberg).

In pursuit of higher yields, many investors are taking on more risk, either by going further out on the yield curve or further down the credit spectrum. In 2021, however, even the longer-dated and lower-quality segments of the bond market have failed to offer yields comparable to those of their shorter-dated, higher-quality counterparts prior to the GFC.

This dynamic has led investors to seek bond alternatives. One such alternative is a defined outcome investment with built-in buffers against losses.