4 star manager: Don't fear the junk bond market

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Fresh concerns about the health of high yield continued to unnerve the markets Monday.

Gershon Distenfeld is director of high yield for the AB High Income Fund A, which has the largest amount of illiquid assets on a percentage basis among the ten largest US junk bond funds, with 15 percent of the securities in the $7.3 billion portfolio.

Distenfeld told CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Monday the best way to navigate the high yield market is by maintaining a large pool of liquid assets inside the fund to be able to be proactive and take advantage of dislocations of the market as well as meet redemptions.

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"We see opportunity in the weakness," said Distenfeld. "We like to go against the grain, focus on higher quality sectors of the high yield and developed markets, like core non-commodity B/BB bonds in the U.S. and the European Union."

Distenfeld continues to avoid Triple C corporate bonds, which are considered the riskiest part of the high yield market. "The rewards are just too little to justify the risk," said Distenfeld.

Another area Distenfeld is avoiding is the bank loan market, which he called "troubled" over the next couple of years. "Investors spooked by rising rates have put in too much money into bank loans, causing credit quality of issuers to go down."

Recent bets in the AB High Income Fund include asset backed securities, like MBS and CMBS. "These securities are relatively safe and don't have too much blow-up risk," said Distenfeld.

AB High Income A Fund has a four star ranking from Morningstar and five year trailing total return of 5.11 percent since 2010.

AB High Income Fund: Sector weightings

Government: 9.19%

Corporate: 68.72%

Securitized: 12.50%

Municipal: 0.76%

Cash & equivalents: 8.83%

AB High Income Fund A: Credit quality

AAA: 6.6%

AA: 0.26%

A: 1.44%

BBB: 15.99%

BB: 27.42%

B: 25.76%

Below B: 11.39%

Not rated: 10.74%

Source: Morningstar as of 9/30/15