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Top 10 Corporate Bond ETFs

Stocks in this article: LQD CSJ CIU VCSH CFT VCIT SCPB

CSJ (iShares 1-3 Year Credit Bond ETF) tracks the Barclays Capital U.S. 1-3 year Credit Bond Index which includes corporate and sovereign debt and non-U.S. agency bonds. The bonds held are shorter-term in duration clearly virtually eliminating duration risk. Bonds within the holdings are all investment grade. AUM is over $8 billion and trading volume averages over 475K shares daily. 

YTD market return through May 2011 has been 1.18% while the yield is roughly 2.29%.

CSJ Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. Kreditanstalt Fur Wiederaufbau 1.875%: 0.90%
  2. Citigroup 6.5%: 0.90%
  3. European Investment Bank 1.625%: 0.87%
  4. General Electric 5%: 0.81%
  5. International Bank For Reconstruction & 1.75%: 0.80%
  6. Kreditanstalt Fur Wiederaufbau 1.375%: 0.80%
  7. Kreditanstalt Fur Wiederaufbau 3.5%: 0.72%
  8. European Investment Bank 1.25%: 0.71%
  9. CS First Boston New York 5%: 0.62%
  10. Kreditanstalt Fur Wiederaufbau 1.375%: 0.62%

CIU (iShares Barclays Intermediate Bond ETF) follows the Barclays Intermediate Credit Bond Fund Profile which consists of investment grade bonds with maturities of greater than one year but less than 10 years. CIU has AUM of roughly $3.4 billion with average daily trading volume of just less than 200K shares.

CIU has a yield of approximately 4% and has returned 2.55% through May 2011.

CIU Top Ten Holdings

  1. European Investment Bank 4.625%: 0.67%
  2. International Bank For Reconstruction 2.125%: 0.47%
  3. Kreditanstalt Fur Wiederaufbau 4.375%: 0.47%
  4. Cisco Systems 5.5%: 0.46%
  5. Italy Republic 4.5%: 0.45%
  6. European Investment Bank 2.75%: 0.38%
  7. General Electric Capital Corp 2.8%: 0.38%
  8. Citigroup 5.5%: 0.35%
  9. AT&T 2.5%: 0.33%
  10. International Bank For Reconstruction 2.375%: 0.33%

VCSH (Vanguard Short-term Corporate Bond ETF) also tracks the Barclays Capital U.S. 1-5 Year Corporate Index which includes U.S. dollar-denominated, investment-grade securities. Vanguard in general would like to compete with similar offerings based on lower fees. And, if you're an investor with a long-term investment horizon and with interest rates this low, fees could matter. VCSH's expense ratio of .15% versus .20% for other similar products is possibly more appealing. AUM equal $1.5 billion and average daily trading volume is roughly 160K shares.

Through May 2011 YTD return has been 1.79% with a yield of 2.33%.

VCSH Top Ten Holdings

  1. General Electric Capital Corp 5.45%: 1.77%
  2. Wells Fargo Corp 3.75%: 1.11%
  3. Morgan Stanley 5.3%: 0.91%
  4. Goldman Sachs Group 3.625%: 0.90%
  5. CS First Boston New York 5%: 0.89%
  6. Citigroup 5.5%: 0.77%
  7. Goldman Sachs Group 5.25%: 0.73%
  8. Bank Of America Corp 6.25%: 0.70%
  9. AT&T 4.95%: 0.68%
  10. JP Morgan Chase 4.75%: 0.66%

CFT (iShares Barclays Credit Bond ETF) follows the Barclays Credit Bond Index which includes dollar denominated corporate and agency debt and have maturities greater than one year. In the top ten holdings you'll note a mix between dollar denominated overseas issues and even a municipal bond issue. AUM is $862M and average daily trading volume is roughly 54K shares. Nearly 75% of current maturities are within 10-years. The annual expense ratio is .20%.

Through May 2011 CFT has returned 2.98% with a yield of 4.42%.

CFT Top Ten Holdings

  1. European Investment Bank 5.125%: 0.52%
  2. Citigroup 8.5%: 0.35%
  3. General Electric Capital Corp 5.625%: 0.33%
  4. Morgan Stanley 4.75%: 0.31%
  5. Wyeth 5.5%: 0.31%
  6. Morgan Stanley 6%: 0.30%
  7. Bank of America Funding 4.5%: 0.30%
  8. European Investment Bank 2.75%: 0.28%
  9. California State GO Bonds 7.55%: 0.28%
  10. United Mexican States 5.95%: 0.28%

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