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The Pioneer High-Yield Fund ( TYHYX) has notched the top return in the high-yield bond category this year. It gets a four-star rating from Morningstar.

This $3 billion fund is up 5.6% this year and 23% over the past 12 months.

The fund seeks to maximize total returns through a combination of income and capital appreciation. It invests at least 80% of assets in high-yielding debt securities of any rating and preferred stocks, even those of firms that are in default or bankruptcy. The fund also invests in investment-grade and below-investment-grade convertible bonds and preferred stocks that are convertible into the equity securities of the issuer.

This fund is differentiated mostly by an affinity for convertible bonds, which can be as much as 20% of assets, notes a Morningstar analyst. The fund can also own equities and convertible preferred stocks, to as much as 20% of the portfolio, which is about eight times more than the typical high-yield fund category average.

The $9 billion Oppenheimer Global Strategic Fund ( OPSIX), which gets two stars from Morningstar, is a multi-sector bond fund that divides the fund's assets among U.S. government, high-yield and foreign debt, including emerging-markets issues.

It has a 1.76% return this year and 15% over the past year.

The fund also uses derivatives for investment purposes or hedging, including options, futures, forward contracts, swaps and "structured" notes.

Top 10 holdings includes sovereign bonds from Poland, Turkey, Brazil, Japan and South Africa.

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