Interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal entitled Bond Funds Load Up on Cash. Of course, investors have been preparing — usually prematurely — for the “inevitable” risk in interest rates since soon after the financial crisis in 2008 and so far it’s yet to happen.
As the Journal reports, though, large bond funds in the United States are holding the most cash since that same financial crisis: 6.6% on average among the top ten American bond funds as of their last reporting date, according to Morningstar Inc. That cash position is more than double what it was last year (on average). The last time cash levels in bond funds were this high was 2007.
The expectation is that the Federal Reserve will finally start to act and raise rates sometime in 2015. And of course, now we’re in December of 2014, 2015 isn’t quite so far in the future as it may once have appeared. The Fed’s Quantitative Easing program ended in October (at least the latest incarnation of it).
The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note was 2.169% as of Friday, the Journal reports, down from 3% when 2013 ended.