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  • Writer's pictureWiseWallet

Fidelity Total Bond ETF (FBND) - A Core Bond Fund for Your Retirement Income

Updated: Mar 31



In our latest exploration of retirement income strategies at WiseWallet.info, we have taken a closer look at the merits of bond funds/ETFs as an alternative to annuities. Building on this discussion, we want to introduce you to a high-quality and low-cost bond ETF that could potentially fit into your diversified retirement income strategy. Our essential research summary will provide you with the key insights you need to make an informed decision.


What?

The Fidelity Total Bond ETF (FBND) is designed for investors seeking a high level of current income, primarily through a diversified portfolio of at least 80% investment-grade debt securities, and up to 20% in higher-yield, lower-quality bonds. FBND follows the Bloomberg U.S. Universal Bond Index to diversify across various sectors and manage interest rate risks, investing in both domestic and foreign issuers. The selection process emphasizes the analysis of credit quality, issuer success potential, and market valuation to identify opportunities, with the flexibility to engage in leveraging transactions to potentially enhance returns.


So What?

Let's look at the details of the Fidelity Total Bond ETF ETF (FBND). The values quoted below are as of 3/27/2024.

  • Fund Inception: 10/06/2014

  • Net Assets: $7.9 B

  • Expense Ratio: 0.36%

  • TTM (Trailing 12 Months) Yield: 4.47%

  • Total # of Holding: 3518

  • Effective Duration: 6 years

  • Average Credit Rating: AA-

  • Exposure: Corporate (34%), Securitized (31%), US Government (30%)

  • Morningstar Star Rating: 4 Stars (Best: 5 Stars)

  • Morningstar Medalist Rating: Gold (Best: Gold)


Note Morningstar's 5-star system is based on past performance and is quantitative, whereas the medalist ratings are qualitative, incorporating analyst judgment and forward-looking expectations.


The chart below shows the growth of $10,000 investment since its inception. FBND has outperformed the Intermediate Core-Plus Bond Category and the Bloomberg US Bond Index. The recent decline coincides with the Fed's interest rate hike.



In summary, the Fidelity Total Bond ETF (FND) is a low-cost, broadly diversified bond fund that can serve as a core fixed-income holding for investors seeking exposure to the U.S. investment-grade bond market. This fund can be an attractive option for investors looking to build a well-rounded fixed-income allocation at a low cost.


Now What?

For investors intrigued by the Fidelity Total Bond ETF (FBND) and its place within a retirement income strategy, the next steps involve a few critical considerations:

  • Evaluate Your Financial Situation: Assess your current portfolio, income needs, and investment horizon. FBND's blend of investment-grade and higher-yield bonds offers a mix of stability and income potential suited for medium to long-term investors.

  • Understand the Fund's Positioning: With its emphasis on corporate, securitized, and U.S. government bonds, FBND provides a balanced exposure to different segments of the bond market. Consider how this aligns with your risk tolerance and investment goals.

  • Plan for Interest Rate Changes: Given FBND's effective duration of 6 years, it's important to consider the impact of potential interest rate changes on bond prices. A well-informed strategy can help mitigate risks associated with fluctuating rates.

  • Diversification and Allocation: Integrate FBND into a diversified portfolio to spread risk across various asset classes. This ETF can serve as a core fixed-income component, complementing stocks, real estate, and other investments.

  • Continuous Review: Regularly monitor the performance and composition of FBND as part of your overall portfolio. Adjustments may be necessary as your financial situation, market conditions, or the ETF's performance evolves over time.


Concluding Remarks

The Fidelity Total Bond ETF (FBND) is a good place to start for retirees and investors seeking a steady income stream, with a diversified blend of government, investment-grade and higher-yield bonds. Its broad diversification, low expense ratio, and strong performance metrics underscore its value as a core holding in a retirement income portfolio. As always, consider consulting with a financial advisor to tailor these insights to your unique situation.


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