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Originally published Saturday, August 30, 2014 at 8:07 PM

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Investors in junk bonds see value in buying low

Just because yields on speculative-grade debt are falling toward the lowest ever, that’s not a good enough reason to avoid it, JP Morgan Asset Management’s chief investment officer says.


Bloomberg News

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All those bond investors fretting about a bubble will probably be right eventually.

In the meantime, they may want to think about buying some junk debt.

That’s how Bob Michele, who oversees $380 billion as JPMorgan Asset Management’s chief investment officer for fixed income, is approaching the market.

Just because yields on speculative-grade debt are falling toward the lowest ever, that’s not a good enough reason to avoid it, he said.

“Ultimately there will be a bubble,” Michele said.

As for now, he said, “there’s only so long that you’re going to sit in cash earning a zero percent return in the U.S., perhaps a negative yield in Europe, before you go back into some form of bonds.”

Michele isn’t alone in seeing value in junk bonds, despite Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s suggestion that the market has gotten frothy.

While high-yield notes in the U.S. posted a 1.3 percent loss last month, their first in almost a year, they’ve bounced right back with a 1.5 percent gain in August, Bank of America Merrill Lynch index data show.



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