Citywire Professional Buyer
Fishing for yield in a new decade
1 minute read
March 5, 2020
Please see important disclosures and risks below.
Data quoted represents past performance, which is no guarantee of future results. The information presented does not reflect the performance of any fund or account managed or serviced by Cohen & Steers, and there is no guarantee that investors will experience the type of performance reflected.
There is no guarantee that any market forecast set forth in this article will be realized. There is no guarantee that any historical trend referenced herein will be repeated in the future, and there is no way to predict precisely when such a trend will begin. The mention of specific securities is not a recommendation or solicitation to buy, sell or hold any particular security and should not be relied upon as investment advice.
This article is for informational purposes and reflects prevailing conditions and our judgment as of the date of this material, which are subject to change. This material should not be relied upon as investment advice, does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell a security or other investment and is not intended to predict or depict performance of any investment. This material is not being provided in a fiduciary capacity and is not intended to recommend any investment policy or investment strategy or take into account the specific objectives or circumstances of any investor. We consider the information in this article to be accurate, but we do not represent that it is complete or should be relied upon as the sole source of suitability for investment. Please consult with your investment, tax or legal professional regarding your individual circumstances prior to investing.
Risks of Investing in Preferred Securities. Investing in any market exposes investors to risks. In general, the risks of investing in preferred securities are similar to those of investing in bonds, including credit risk and interest-rate risk. As nearly all preferred securities have issuer call options, call risk and reinvestment risk are also important considerations. In addition, investors face equity-like risks, such as deferral or omission of distributions, subordination to bonds and other more senior debt, and higher corporate governance risks with limited voting rights.
Risks associated with preferred securities differ from risks inherent with other investments. In particular, in the event of bankruptcy, a company’s preferred securities are senior to common stock but subordinated to all other types of corporate debt. Throughout this commentary we will make comparisons of preferred securities to corporate bonds, municipal bonds and 10-Year Treasury bonds. It is important to note that corporate bonds sit higher in the capital structure than preferred securities, and therefore in the event of bankruptcy will be senior to the preferred securities. Municipal bonds are issued and backed by state and local governments and their agencies, and the interest from municipal securities is often free from both state and local income taxes. 10-Year Treasury bonds are issued by the U.S. government and are generally considered the safest of all bonds since they are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government as to timely payment of principal and interest.
Preferred funds may invest in below investment-grade securities and unrated securities judged to be below investment-grade by the Advisor. Below investment-grade securities or equivalent unrated securities generally involve greater volatility of price and risk of loss of income and principal, and may be more susceptible to real or perceived adverse economic and competitive industry conditions than higher grade securities.
Contingent capital securities (sometimes referred to as "CoCos") are debt or preferred securities with loss absorption characteristics built into the terms of the security, for example a mandatory conversion into common stock of the issuer under certain circumstances, such as the issuer's capital ratio falling below a certain level. Since the common stock of the issuer may not pay a dividend, investors in these instruments could experience a reduced income rate, potentially to zero, and conversion would deepen the subordination of the investor, hence worsening the investor's standing in a bankruptcy. Some CoCos provide for a reduction in the value or principal amount of the security under such circumstances. In addition, most CoCos are considered to be high yield or "junk" securities and are therefore subject to the risks of investing in below investment-grade securities.
Duration is a mathematical calculation of the average life of a fixed-income or preferred security that serves as a measure of the security’s price risk to changes in interest rates (or yields). Securities with longer durations tend to be more sensitive to interest rate (or yield) changes than securities with shorter durations. Duration differs from maturity in that it considers potential changes to interest rates, and a security’s coupon payments, yield, price and par value and call features, in addition to the amount of time until the security matures. Various techniques may be used to shorten or lengthen the Fund’s duration. The duration of a security will be expected to change over time with changes in market factors and time to maturity.
Cohen & Steers Capital Management, Inc. (Cohen & Steers) is a registered investment advisory firm that provides investment management services to corporate retirement, public and union retirement plans, endowments, foundations and mutual funds.
Cohen & Steers U.S. registered open-end funds are distributed by Cohen & Steers Securities, LLC and are only available to U.S. residents.