/perspectives/sector-views/high-yield-and-bank-loan-outlook-january-2023

2023 Credit Outlook and Lessons Learned from a Tough Year

Move up in quality ahead of any recession-driven market volatility.

January 20, 2023


High-Yield and Bank Loan Outlook

First Quarter 2023

Here are the key takeaways from our latest High-Yield and Bank Loan Outlook report:

  • Potentially heading into a downturn this year, we believe borrowers have healthier balance sheets than they did going into the pandemic.
  • As the economic data deteriorate further, however, we expect a decline in corporate earnings, more negative rating migration, and an increase in default activity.
  • We are more cautiously positioned given the Federal Reserve’s ongoing fight to ensure inflation comes down and stays down, and its apparent willingness to topple the economy into a recession to succeed.
  • Between the two sectors we prefer high-yield corporate bonds over bank loans this year from a total return perspective given the sector’s better credit profile and if, as we expect, rate duration cushions performance in a recession.
Important Notices and Disclosures

Fixed-income investments are subject to credit, liquidity, interest rate and, depending on the instrument, counter-party risk. These risks may be increased to the extent fixed-income investments are concentrated in any one issuer, industry, region, or country. The market value of fixed-income investments generally will fluctuate with, among other things, the financial condition of the obligors on the underlying debt obligations or, with respect to synthetic securities, of the obligors on or issuers of the reference obligations, general economic conditions, the condition of certain financial markets, political events, developments, or trends in any particular industry. Fixed-income investments are subject to the possibility that interest rates could rise, causing their values to decline.

Bank loans are generally below investment grade and may become nonperforming or impaired for a variety of reasons. Nonperforming or impaired loans may require substantial workout negotiations or restructuring that may entail, among other things, a substantial reduction in the interest rate and/or a substantial write down of the principal of the loan. In addition, certain bank loans are highly customized and, thus, may not be purchased or sold as easily as publicly-traded securities. Any secondary trading market also may be limited, and there can be no assurance that an adequate degree of liquidity will be maintained. The transferability of certain bank loans may be restricted. Risks associated with bank loans include the fact that prepayments may generally occur at any time without premium or penalty. High-yield debt securities have greater credit and liquidity risk than investment grade obligations.

High-yield debt securities are generally unsecured and may be subordinated to certain other obligations of the issuer thereof. The lower rating of high-yield debt securities and below investment grade loans reflects a greater possibility that adverse changes in the financial condition of an issuer or in general economic conditions, or both, may impair the ability of the issuer thereof to make payments of principal or interest. Securities rated below investment grade are commonly referred to as “junk bonds.” Risks of high-yield debt securities may include (among others): (i) limited liquidity and secondary market support, (ii) substantial market place volatility resulting from changes in prevailing interest rates, (iii) the possibility that earnings of the high-yield debt security issuer may be insufficient to meet its debt service, and (iv) the declining creditworthiness and potential for insolvency of the issuer of such high-yield debt securities during periods of rising interest rates and/ or economic downturn. An economic downturn or an increase in interest rates could severely disrupt the market for high-yield debt securities and adversely affect the value of outstanding high-yield debt securities and the ability of the issuers thereof to repay principal and interest. Issuers of high-yield debt securities may be highly leveraged and may not have available to them more traditional methods of financing.

This material is distributed for informational or educational purposes only and should not be considered a recommendation of any particular security, strategy, or investment product, or as investing advice of any kind. This material is not provided in a fiduciary capacity, may not be relied upon for or in connection with the making of investment decisions, and does not constitute a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell securities. The content contained herein is not intended to be and should not be construed as legal or tax advice and/or a legal opinion. Always consult a financial, tax and/or legal professional regarding your specific situation.

This material contains opinions of the author but not necessarily those of Guggenheim Partners or its subsidiaries. The author’s opinions are subject to change without notice. Forward looking statements, estimates, and certain information contained herein are based upon proprietary and non-proprietary research and other sources. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but are not assured as to accuracy. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission of Guggenheim Partners, LLC. Past performance is not indicative of future results. There is neither representation nor warranty as to the current accuracy of, nor liability for, decisions based on such information.

©2023, Guggenheim Partners, LLC. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission of Guggenheim Partners, LLC.


FEATURED PERSPECTIVES

January 27, 2023

10 Macroeconomic Themes for 2023

10 charts illustrate the macroeconomic trends we believe are most likely to shape the investment environment in 2023.

January 12, 2023

Inflation Release Adds to Good News for the Fed…and Bonds

Recent data is moving in the Fed’s desired direction.

November 10, 2022

Fourth Quarter 2022 Fixed-Income Sector Views

Market and value updates by sector.


VIDEOS AND PODCASTS

2022’s Upside: The Fed Has Put the Income Back in Fixed Income 

2022’s Upside: The Fed Has Put the Income Back in Fixed Income

Anne Walsh, Chief Investment Officer for Fixed Income at Guggenheim Investments, joined Asset TV to discuss macroeconomic conditions, risk, and relative value in the bond market.

Macro Markets Podcast 

Macro Markets Podcast Episode 28: Fed Day, Jobs Day, and 10 Macro Themes

Brian Smedley, Chief Economist and Head of the Macroeconomic and Investment Research Group, discusses the Fed rate decision, recent inflation, labor, and GDP data, and possible next steps for monetary policy. He also provides key takeaways for investors from our 10 Macroeconomic Themes for 2023.







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Guggenheim Investments represents the following affiliated investment management businesses of Guggenheim Partners, LLC: Guggenheim Partners Investment Management, LLC, Security Investors, LLC, Guggenheim Funds Distributors, LLC, Guggenheim Funds Investment Advisors, LLC, Guggenheim Corporate Funding, LLC, Guggenheim Partners Advisors, LLC, Guggenheim Partners Europe Limited, Guggenheim Partners Japan Limited, GS GAMMA Advisors, LLC, and Guggenheim Partners India Management. Securities offered through Guggenheim Funds Distributors, LLC.

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