While the Federal Reserve most likely will not taper its bond-buying program known as quantitative easing this fall, and perhaps not this year, the fact that interest rates are going higher at some point is still in play. The dramatic sell off in the fixed income markets from May until early July gave investors a peek behind the curtain at how things may look when the Fed does start its easing, eventually discontinue buying and ultimately start to raise rates.
The portfolio research analysts at Credit Suisse have taken advantage of the May to July sell off in the bond market, and history, to assemble a portfolio of exchange traded funds (ETFs) that represent sectors that have proven to do well in a rising interest rate environment. That advantage for investors, is that ETFs give broad market coverage within a sector. If a specific stock within that sector does poorly or misses earnings, the other stocks in the ETF help add support.
Here is the Credit Suisse rising interest rate equity portfolio. Each ETF represents 6.7% of the portfolio.
Banks: SPDR S&P Bank ETF (KBE)
Banking and Investment Services: iShares U.S. Broker-Dealers ETF (IAI)
Aerospace and Defense: iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF (ITA)
Financial Services: iShares U.S. Financial Services ETF (IYG)
Biotechnology: PowerShares Dynamic Biotech & Genome (PBE)
Media and Publishing: PowerShares Dynamic Media (PBS)
Internet: PowerShares NASDAQ Internet (PNQI)
Semiconductors: iShares PHLX SOX Semiconductor Sector (SOXX)
Retail: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT)
Health Care Providers and Services: iShares U.S. Healthcare Providers ETF (IHF)
Leisure and Recreation: PowerShares Dynamic Leisure & Entertainment (PEJ)
Insurance: iShares Insurance ETF (IAK)
Food: PowerShares Dynamic Food & Beverage (PBJ)
Health Care Equipment and Supplies: iShares U.S. Medical Devices ETF (IHI)
Oil and Gas Equipment and Services: iShares U.S. Oil Equipment & Services ETF (IEZ)
While no portfolio is guaranteed to work in any given environment, the Credit Suisse analysts do have history on their side. Clearly the portfolio overweights certain sectors while totally omitting others. The advantage for investors is that they have time to assemble the portfolio. Most interest rates strategists are now predicting tapering to begin early next year, and interest rate increases to begin at some point in 2015.