The bottom rungs of the high yield bond market are too pricey after the run-up since February, but the higher quality issues are still worth buying and holding, said Joseph Higgins, portfolio manager for the TIAA-CREF Bond fund (TIDRX) - Get Report . 'The higher quality high yield is not overpriced because the recession is still a ways off, certainly two or three years away, and financing is cheap, so there remains some value there,' said Higgins. The TIAA-CREF Bond fund is up 6.1 percent so far in 2016, according to Morningstar. The $3.3 billion fund has returned an average of 4.3 percent annually over the past three years, outpacing 87 percent of its rivals in Morningstar's intermediate-term bond category. The trailing 12 month yield for the fund is 2.4 percent, according to Morningstar.