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Where Might Yield-Seekers Turn Now?
A year of increased asset purchases, new emergency facilities and lower interest rates—unleashed by global central banks in response to the pandemic’s economic disruption—has made it increasingly challenging for investors to find yield in today’s market. As it stands, only about 30% of the world’s bonds trade with yields over 1%. For investors looking to generate income over and above inflation, high yield credit stands as one of the last remaining asset classes that still offers compelling yield opportunities on an absolute and risk-adjusted basis.
Was Sisyphus a Value Investor?
“I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one's burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” —Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus, 1942
The plight of Sisyphus is not wholly unfamiliar to value investors. And so it’s reasonable for these investors to ask themselves: Are we like Sisyphus?
The Global Stimulus Race
Among the new US administration’s top priorities is another round of stimulus. Though the bill looks different from the measures previously passed under a more divided government, it doesn’t go as far as the Democrat-controlled House went in its May 2020 $3 trillion proposal.