NEW YORK ( TheStreet ) -- Worried about rising interest rates and volatile stock markets, investors have been selling high-yield bonds -- which are rated below-investment grade. During the past month, high-yield funds dropped 2.0%, according to Morningstar. Is it time to move away from the low-quality issues? Some top managers think so.Speaking at the Morningstar Investment Conference in Chicago last week, some managers warned that high-yield bonds are still rich. The managers have been selling their expensive holdings and shifting to such unloved fare as European bonds. TGLMX). Instead of high-yield bonds, Rivelle favors bank loans. Those are loans made to below-investment grade companies. While the loans only yield about 5%, they are more secure than high-yield bonds. Loans are considered senior to high-yield bonds. So in the event of a default, owners of loans are paid first, while investors in high-yield bonds must wait in line and hope to receive whatever assets are left. Besides holding securities that are rated below-investment grade, TCW Total Return also owns stakes in mortgages and other high-quality instruments. Portfolio manager Tad Rivelle varies the mix. During the past five years, the fund returned 9.6% annually, compared to 5.5% for the Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate. In recent years, Rivelle has scored big gains with non-agency mortgages. Because they are not backed by the government, the non-agency mortgages must yield more than the common mortgages that are backed by Fannie Mae and other agencies. During the financial crisis, non-agency securities plummeted as investors worried about defaults. Since then, the securities have rebounded, but they still offer relatively rich yields of around 5.5%.