It's official: The Fed is holding rates steady and the rest of year isn't looking too promising for many more rate hikes. If you're an investor hunting for yield, what does this mean for your money?
Now is the perfect opportunity to increase your exposure to corporate bonds, according to Gene Tannuzzo, who manages the $2.4 billion Columbia Strategic Income Fund at Columbia Threadneedle Investments.
"Yellen specifically mentioned investment grade corporate bond spreads … which have tightened in the last five weeks but still wider than what it was during the December Fed meeting. We want to see those spreads improve further," Tannuzzo told CNBC's Power Lunch.
He says the two best sectors to find corporate bonds are in the telecom and energy sectors.
The telecom sector boasts strong and stable cash flow profile, paired with attractive yields, particularly at the long end of the curve. Tannuzzo highlighted AT&T's 30-year corporate bonds with approximately 5% yield as a good choice.
For investors interested in gaining exposure to the energy sector but are still cautious on long-term oil price movements, Tannuzzo suggests corporate bonds in the midstream pipeline sector. Specifically, Kinder Morgan and Plains All American corporate bonds.
"We think the pipeline companies are attractive because their bond prices have declined along with oil prices, however their businesses are not exposed the same way the oil-producing companies are. So the bonds offer attractive yields for businesses with cash flows that have actually been more stable than many investors realize," he said. "In addition, these companies have cut back on dividends and capital expenditures which is positive for bondholders."
In an environment where the labor market is improving and the Fed is tightening very slowly, investors should seek direct exposure to the domestic economy and the U.S. consumer, Tannuzzo advised. Do that through mortgage backed securities, which are attractive in this environment.
Within the mortgage bond space, Tannuzzo likes single family rental and commercial sectors.
As the housing market heals and more of the population moves to renting, we expect greater issuance of single family rental securitizations, Tannuzzo said. As for commercial mortgage backed securities, he is eyeing the lower end such as BBB-grade bonds with 6% to 7% yield.