|Bid||36.12 x 900|
|Ask||36.23 x 1000|
|Day's Range||36.16 - 36.23|
|52 Week Range||33.26 - 38.08|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.97|
|Expense Ratio (net)||0.47%|
The iShares S&P US Preferred Stock Fund (NASDAQ: PFF), the largest exchange traded fund dedicated to preferred stocks, is getting a new index. Preferred stocks are a type of hybrid security that show bond- ...
As the name suggests, preferred gives the shareholder a place in line ahead of common stock holders, whenever a company pays dividends or distributes assets to shareholders. In other cases, should dividend payments be missed, preferred shareholders get all of their dividend payments before the common shareholders receive anything. Preferred stock might offer more stable cash flow than common stock.
Preferred stocks and the related exchange traded funds are high-yielding, income-generating assets. The downside is that such assets are often perceived to be vulnerable to rising interest rates, but the iShares S&P US Preferred Stock Fund (PFF) is higher by nearly 2.60% year-to-date. The shares are issued by financial institutions, utilities and telecom companies, among others.
Higher inflationary expectations and rising rate worries are prevalent across the world. The Fed enacted two rate hikes in the first half and offered a hawkish guidance for the whole year. The central bank is now planning two more hikes this year. Upbeat U.S. economic recovery and a tight labor market led the Fed to be hawkish.Source: Shutterstock
Remember the time when the Federal Reserve was not raising interest rates? Those were the glory days for preferred stock funds. Yield-starved investors flocked to preferred stock funds in search of additional income.
In doing so, bond buyers and bankers were reticent to extend further credit to many of the railroad companies. The successful pitch was that preferred stock would pay a fixed dividend much like a bond.
Preferred stocks - a high-yield asset that's typically referred to as a stock-bond "hybrid" because it has characteristics of each - are treading water this year after a strong showing in 2017. But that's OK. Preferred stocks typically aren't bought for upside potential - it's about stability and income. "Straight preferred stock funds without other equities are fixed-income securities with a low correlation to the stock market," says Jay Hatfield, founder and chief executive officer of Infrastructure Capital Advisors (InfraCap) and co-portfolio manager of the Virtus InfraCap U.S. Preferred Stock ETF (PFFA). He adds that they can reduce portfolio volatility "and be used to rebalance during down markets." Now might be the right time, considering the rising-interest-rate atmosphere. While preferreds "have long duration and are sensitive to movements in long-term interest rates," Hatfield and his team expect the 30-year Treasury to stay in the 3%-3.5% area, which means preferred stocks "will be attractive with yields of over 6%." Eric Chadwick, president of preferred-stock specialist Flaherty & Crumrine, also downplays any interest-rate risk. "Preferreds tend to perform well relative to other fixed income in periods of rising interest rates, although the path may be bumpy along the way," Chadwick says, adding that preferreds tend to price in interest rate hikes early. Here's a look at 10 funds that can help you jump on this income opportunity in preferred stocks. Chadwick and Hatfield both suggest investing in a broad, actively managed preferred-stock funds, though investors looking for inexpensive options have their pick of a couple cheap exchange-traded funds, too. Let's dig in: SEE ALSO: 53 Best Dividend Stocks for 2018 and Beyond