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John Hancock Investments' Fixed-Income Team Co-Heads Share Insights on Bond Markets

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John Hancock Investments' portfolio managers provide insights on the bond markets.

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John Hancock Investments is a global asset manager that offers a wide range of investment solutions for individuals and institutions. Recently, Howard C. Greene, CFA, and Jeffrey N. Given, CFA, senior portfolio managers, and co-heads of the U.S. core and core-plus fixed-income team at John Hancock Investments, shared their insights on the bond markets.

According to Greene and Given, the current bond market remains challenging due to the uncertainty surrounding the economic recovery from the pandemic. However, they believe that investors can still find opportunities in the market by focusing on high-quality, well-diversified portfolios.

The John Hancock Closed-End Funds listed in the table below announced earnings for the three months ended March 31, 2023. These funds include John Hancock Premium Dividend Fund (PDT), John Hancock Tax-Advantaged Dividend Income Fund (HTD), John Hancock Preferred Income Fund (HPI), and John Hancock Income Securities Trust (JHS).

Emily Roland, Co-Chief Investment Strategist at John Hancock Investment Management, appeared on "Squawk Box" to discuss how the market is bracing for a potential Fed rate hike. Roland stated that while the market is pricing in a rate hike, it is not yet clear when it will happen. She advised investors to stay diversified and focus on high-quality companies.

With yields significantly higher today than they were just a year ago, finding income opportunities in the bond markets is no longer such a challenge. However, investors must remain vigilant and focus on high-quality, well-diversified portfolios. This is particularly important given the uncertainty surrounding the economic recovery from the pandemic.

John Hancock Financial Opportunities Fund (NYSE: BTO), a closed-end fund managed by John Hancock Investment Management LLC, recently announced its monthly distribution for August 2023. The fund aims to provide high current income and long-term capital appreciation by investing in a diversified portfolio of financial services sector securities.

Passive preferred strategies can offer an attractive stream of income without sacrificing quality, but tend to be heavily concentrated in a few sectors. Greene and Given recommend investors to be cautious when investing in these strategies and to focus on well-diversified portfolios.

Fears that financial stress in the system could morph into a banking crisis have sparked speculation that the Fed might make a dovish pivot. Greene and Given believe that investors should remain focused on high-quality, well-diversified portfolios and avoid taking excessive risks.

SEC yield, distribution yield, yield to maturity, and yield to worst can all offer insight on a fund's income-producing potential, but investors must be careful when comparing yields across different funds. Greene and Given recommend investors to focus on the quality of the underlying portfolio and the fund's track record.

Mid-cap equities currently present a pocket of opportunity for investors, helping to mitigate valuation risk and quality risk within portfolios. Greene and Given recommend investors to focus on well-diversified portfolios and to avoid taking excessive risks.

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