Fixed Income: U.S. - Corporate Investment Grade Short-Term

LDRI Top Performer Intra-day
Price $24.98
Today’s Change +0.06%(0.22)
3:35pm 09/22/2017
BSCI Bottom Performer Intra-day
Price $21.18
Today’s Change -0.01%(-0.05)
4:00pm 09/22/2017
  • Overview
  • Efficiency
  • Tradability
  • Fit

ETF.com Insight

Investors have a good range of choices among the US corporate investment grade short-term fixed income ETFs. iShares’ CSJ offers a broad basket of representative bonds that are veryVCSH, CSJ and SCPB trade very well in retail and institutional sizes. easy to trade. The fund’s exposure differs from our benchmark mostly along sector lines: CSJ underweights industrial and financial corporate issues to make room for supranational debt issued by entities like the European Investment Bank, foreign agency debt, and foreign sovereigns. Still, the fund generally takes less risk than our benchmark, as it overweights AAA-rated securities.
Vanguard’s VCSH offers a more typical range of corporate bonds without the supranational exposure. Its chief difference from the market is definitional: VCSH defines “short term” as 1-5 years, while we mark it at 1-3 years. This distinction produces predictable biases toward higher interest rate risk and higher yield, and has also led to lower total returns lately. A third option, SSgA’s SCPB, mirrors our benchmark almost perfectly, with identical exposures to the 1-3-year investment-grade corporate debt market. VCSH, CSJ and SCPB all have very large asset bases—over $3B—and all three trade very well in retail and institutional sizes.
Guggenheim and iShares target date suites round out the segment. These funds are designed to act like bonds held to maturity. They have planned termination dates; the funds’ portfolios decrease in maturity and duration as they approach their respective target dates. Aside from this key distinction, they all offer well-balanced exposure from a sector and credit-risk perspective. Guggenheim’s BulletShares suite has decent assets (over $500M) and can be fairly traded at retail quantities, though they’re not designed for large or frequent traders. On the other hand, iShares’ iBonds suite has less assets and struggles in liquidity, so trade with care. (Insight updated 09/22/17)

All Funds (16)

SCPB $3.14 B 3135804518.4 Cheap and market-like

A 97
E
95
95
T
90
90
F
97
97

CSJ $11.94 B 11940597250 Hugely Popular

A 92
E
93
93
T
83
83
F
92
92

VCSH $21.0 B 21000211282.76 Large & Liquid

A 73
E
92
92
T
87
87
F
73
73

SLQD $560.28 M 560283600 Higher yield

A 66
E
97
97
T
97
97
F
66
66

BSCI $1.05 B 1048806000 Matures in 2018

A 54
E
93
93
T
89
89
F
54
54

BSCJ $1.01 B 1010953800 Matures in 2019

A 53
E
92
92
T
85
85
F
53
53

IBDH $312.93 M 312934485 N/A

A 42
E
96
96
T
94
94
F
42
42

IBDK $390.4 M 390398640 N/A

B 73
E
89
89
T
92
92
F
73
73

IBDB $103.69 M 103685670 Matures in 2018

B 54
E
96
96
T
46
46
F
54
54

IBCC $78.81 M 78811840 Ex-financials, 2018 maturity target

B 51
E
97
97
T
61
61
F
51
51

LDRI $22.48 M 22476600 N/A

C 67
E
82
82
T
54
54
F
67
67

SFIG $5.0 M 5004210.0822 N/A

N/A 0
E
0
-1
T
0
-1
F
0
-1

SUSB $10.02 M 10022760 N/A

N/A 0
E
0
-1
T
0
-1
F
0
-1

IBCB $34.83 M 34825000 Ex-financials, 2016 maturity target

B 48
E
96
96
T
32
32
F
48
48

IBDA $65.54 M 65539500 Matures in 2016

C 52
E
94
94
T
31
31
F
52
52

BSCF $354.47 M 354468000 Matures in 2015

B 51
E
91
91
T
72
72
F
51
51

ETF.com Grade as 09/14/17

Fixed Income: U.S. - Corporate Investment Grade Short-Term

Performance Dispersion
Performance  [as of 09/21/17] 1 Month 3 Month YTD 1 Year 3 Years 5 Years 10 Years
Benchmark: Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Corporate 1-3 Year Index--------------
A 96.81967SCPB3135804518.4SCPBSPDR Bloomberg Barclays Short Term Corporate Bond ETF-0.01%0.52%1.45%1.32%1.49%1.38%--
A 92.451337CSJ11940597250CSJiShares 1-3 Year Credit Bond ETF-0.07%0.44%1.38%1.14%1.33%1.19%2.58%
A 73.161371VCSH21000211282.76VCSHVanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond ETF-0.27%0.34%2.07%1.82%2.28%2.08%--
A 65.926257SLQD560283600SLQDiShares 0-5 Year Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF-0.03%0.51%2.05%1.42%1.79%----
A 54.143423BSCI1048806000BSCIGuggenheim BulletShares 2018 Corporate Bond ETF0.07%0.13%1.03%0.93%1.77%1.83%--
A 53.480568BSCJ1010953800BSCJGuggenheim BulletShares 2019 Corporate Bond ETF-0.04%0.43%1.63%1.10%2.36%2.40%--
A 41.72551IBDH312934485IBDHiShares iBonds Dec 2018 Term Corporate ETF0.25%0.47%1.30%1.16%2.02%----
B 73.302299IBDK390398640IBDKiShares iBonds Dec 2019 Term Corporate ETF0.08%0.59%1.77%1.25%------
B 53.796221IBDB103685670IBDBiShares iBonds Mar 2018 Term Corporate ETF0.15%0.32%1.04%0.98%1.39%----
B 50.979296IBCC78811840IBCCiShares iBonds Mar 2018 Term Corporate ex-Financials ETF0.15%0.07%0.74%0.57%1.31%----
C 66.638914LDRI22476600LDRIPowerShares LadderRite 0-5 Year Corporate Bond Portfolio-0.30%0.17%1.61%0.59%1.15%----
N/A 0SFIG5004210.0822SFIGWisdomTree Fundamental U.S. Short-Term Corporate Bond--0.33%--0.07%------
N/A 0SUSB10022760SUSBiShares ESG 1-5 Year USD Corporate Bond ETF-0.12%------------
B 47.98900828IBCB34825000IBCBiShares iBonds Mar 2016 Corporate ex-Financials 0.43%0.23%0.24%0.15%------
C 51.58848903IBDA65539500IBDAiShares iBonds Mar 2016 Corporate-0.25%-0.06%-0.13%0.32%------
B 50.56530745BSCF354468000BSCFGuggenheim BulletShares 2015 Corporate Bond0.14%0.19%0.47%0.54%0.78%2.49%--
All returns over 1 year are annualized. All returns are total returns unless otherwise stated.

ETF.com Efficiency Insight

All of the funds in the US Corporate Investment Grade Short-Term segment deliver their underlying indexes without undue costs or risks.
In today’s low-yield environment, fees forSCPB and VCSH are the low-fee leaders, charging 12 bps each funds with lower risk profiles—like all of those in this segment—may matter more than ever. Long-term investors most concerned with expense ratios can look to SSgA’s SCPB and Vanguard’s VCSH as the low-fee leaders, charging 12 bps each. The remaining funds are also reasonably priced. Guggenheim’s BulletShares suite is a bit more expensive at 24 bps.
By AUM, the funds are clustered in two groups: those with large asset bases and those with adequate asset bases. The large group contains three extremely well-established funds—CSJ, SCPB and VCSH—with assets well in excess of $3B each. The Guggenheim BulletShares funds have assets in the $600M vicinity, enough to negate closure risk until the planned termination of these ETFs.
One fund stands out with respect to how well (or poorly) its tracks its index: CSJ shows extremely little variation, but its median tracking difference is about twice its expense ratio, which is more than we’d like to see. That said, it has been very consistent. The BulletShares suite generally lag their indexes by about their expense ratios, but have shown some volatility over the past two years, making their true holding costs difficult to predict. Two funds from the iShares’ iBond suite have yet to accumulate enough history for full tracking performance evaluation.
The main knock on VCSH is the fund’s lagged holdings display which prevents investors from seeing their holdings in real-time and costs the fund points in transparency.
SLQD is the newest offerings from iShares so little is known about their Efficiencies. Given iShares’ strong franchise, they are likely to be around. (Insight updated 09/22/17)

All Funds (16)

97
97.326556
97
96.796141
96
96.086777
96
95.811118
95
94.604528
93
93.28811
93
92.560574
92
92.155329
92
92.142685
89
88.54877
82
81.839017
N/A
0
N/A
0
96
96.214232621443
94
94.271656219814
91
91.04252940316

ETF.com Grade as 09/14/17

Fixed Income: U.S. - Corporate Investment Grade Short-Term

Tracking Difference (12 Month)

Ticker Expense Ratio Median Max. Upside Max. Downside Max LT/ST Cap Gains Rate Rule Legal Structure Fund Closure Risk Efficiency
SCPB SPDR Bloomberg Barclays Short Term Corporate Bond ETF 0.12% -0.26% -0.19% -0.45% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 94.604528
BSCI Guggenheim BulletShares 2018 Corporate Bond ETF 0.24% -0.23% -0.11% -0.30% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 92.560574
SLQD iShares 0-5 Year Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF 0.06% -0.09% -0.00% -0.16% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 97.326556
BSCJ Guggenheim BulletShares 2019 Corporate Bond ETF 0.24% -0.18% -0.11% -0.37% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 92.142685
VCSH Vanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond ETF 0.07% 0.23% 0.40% -0.20% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 92.155329
CSJ iShares 1-3 Year Credit Bond ETF 0.20% -0.33% -0.23% -0.47% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 93.28811
SFIG WisdomTree Fundamental U.S. Short-Term Corporate Bond 0.18% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% High 0
SUSB iShares ESG 1-5 Year USD Corporate Bond ETF 0.12% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 0
IBCC iShares iBonds Mar 2018 Term Corporate ex-Financials ETF 0.10% -0.05% -0.01% -0.13% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 96.796141
IBDB iShares iBonds Mar 2018 Term Corporate ETF 0.10% -0.17% -0.12% -0.21% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 95.811118
IBDH iShares iBonds Dec 2018 Term Corporate ETF 0.10% -0.18% -0.13% -0.22% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 96.086777
IBDK iShares iBonds Dec 2019 Term Corporate ETF 0.10% -- -- -- 20.00% / 39.60% Low 88.54877
LDRI PowerShares LadderRite 0-5 Year Corporate Bond Portfolio 0.22% -0.27% -0.06% -1.00% 20.00% / 39.60% High 81.839017
IBCB iShares iBonds Mar 2016 Corporate ex-Financials -0.08% -0.04% -0.15% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 96.214232621443
IBDA iShares iBonds Mar 2016 Corporate -0.15% -0.02% -0.35% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 94.271656219814
BSCF Guggenheim BulletShares 2015 Corporate Bond -0.25% -0.07% -0.31% 20.00% / 39.60% Low 91.04252940316

ETF.com Tradability Insight

Six of the 11 ETFs in the US Corporate Investment Grade Short-Term segment—CSJ, VCSH, SCPB, BSCF, BSCH, and BSCG—can be traded easily and cheaply. CSJ, VCSH, and SCPB stand outSCPB is the clear standout in particular, with extremely tight bid/ask spreads that average about 1-3 bps and median daily dollar volumes of over $20M. This kind of liquidity should even appeal to active traders.
Funds in the Guggenheim BulletShares suite can be fairly traded at retail levels, but larger orders could be pricey. All six funds trade at least $3M on most days with spreads average 9 bps, which aren’t terrible given that these funds are expressly designed to be bought and then held until the planned termination date. Still, we’d recommend using limit orders to help ensure the spread you receive isn’t worse than the average. The three funds get low Tradability scores because they trade poorly in large blocks. Those investors who wish to trade in size should reach out to a liquidity provider or to the issuer for help with execution.
iShares’ iBonds–iShares’ term bond offerings–suite see far less volumes and much wider spreads. So trade with even greater care. (Insight updated 09/22/17)

All Funds (16)

97
97.264762
94
93.788714
92
92.348913
90
89.80675
89
88.519758
87
86.848835
85
84.502473
83
83.100076
61
61.023885
54
53.717767
46
45.962352
N/A
0
N/A
0
32
31.8558168
31
31.4888184
72
72.085681025

ETF.com Grade as 09/14/17

Fixed Income: U.S. - Corporate Investment Grade Short-Term

Ticker Median Daily Volume ($) Average Spread Creation Unit/Day Market Hours Overlap Underlying Volume/Unit % Creation Cost Per Unit (%) Impediment to Creations Score - Tradability
BSCI Guggenheim BulletShares 2018 Corporate Bond ETF $3.05 M 0.05% 0.96 100.00% -- 0.02% None 88.519758
BSCJ Guggenheim BulletShares 2019 Corporate Bond ETF $2.74 M 0.06% 0.86 100.00% -- 0.02% None 84.502473
CSJ iShares 1-3 Year Credit Bond ETF $34.92 M 0.01% 6.63 100.00% -- 0.01% None 83.100076
IBCC iShares iBonds Mar 2018 Term Corporate ex-Financials ETF $104.78 K 0.13% 0.09 100.00% -- 0.01% None 61.023885
IBDB iShares iBonds Mar 2018 Term Corporate ETF $150.11 K 0.12% 0.12 100.00% 56.24% 0.01% None 45.962352
IBDH iShares iBonds Dec 2018 Term Corporate ETF $1.21 M 0.07% 0.96 100.00% -- 0.02% None 93.788714
IBDK iShares iBonds Dec 2019 Term Corporate ETF $1.52 M 0.08% 1.21 100.00% -- 0.03% None 92.348913
LDRI PowerShares LadderRite 0-5 Year Corporate Bond Portfolio $44.88 K 0.22% 0.03 100.00% -- 0.04% None 53.717767
SCPB SPDR Bloomberg Barclays Short Term Corporate Bond ETF $9.28 M 0.03% 3.03 100.00% -- 0.02% None 89.80675
SLQD iShares 0-5 Year Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF $3.58 M 0.04% 1.41 100.00% -- 0.00% None 97.264762
VCSH Vanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond ETF $94.25 M 0.01% 11.74 100.00% -- 0.00% None 86.848835
SFIG WisdomTree Fundamental U.S. Short-Term Corporate Bond $0 0.45% 0 100.00% -- 0.01% None 0
SUSB iShares ESG 1-5 Year USD Corporate Bond ETF $0 0.15% 0.00 0.00%% -- 0.01% None 0
IBCB iShares iBonds Mar 2016 Corporate ex-Financials $0 0.00 100.00% -- 0.00% None 31.8558168
IBDA iShares iBonds Mar 2016 Corporate $49.38 K 0.01 100.00% 0% 0.00% None 31.4888184
BSCF Guggenheim BulletShares 2015 Corporate Bond $725.8 K 0.22 100.00% -- 0.02% None 72.085681025

ETF.com/ Block Liquidity

IBDH
5
4
3
2
1
IBDK
5
4
3
2
1
SLQD
5
4
3
2
1
VCSH
5
4
3
2
1
BSCI
5
4
3
2
1
BSCJ
5
4
3
2
1
IBCC
5
4
3
2
1
SCPB
5
4
3
2
1
CSJ
5
4
3
2
1
LDRI
5
4
3
2
1
IBDB
5
4
3
2
1
SFIG
5
4
3
2
1
SUSB
5
4
3
2
1
IBCB
5
4
3
2
1
IBDA
5
4
3
2
1
BSCF
5
4
3
2
1

This measurement shows how easy it is to trade 25,000 shares of each ETF.

ETF.com Fit Insight

What does “short term” mean in the context of corporate investment grade short-term ETFs? While there’s no universal standard, two funds align with our benchmark’sSCPB meanwhile tracks an index thats identical to our benchmark 1-3-year definition of short-term exposure—iShares’ CSJ and SSgA’s SCPB. The others differ by design and are viable choices despite their low Fit scores.
CSJ holds a broad array of short-term bonds from corporate issuers in the industrial, finance and utility sectors. While it holds these sectors in marketlike proportions, the fund underweights all three to make room for supranational and foreign agency debt that our benchmark excludes. Compared with our benchmark, the fund aligns well on interest rate risk but takes less credit risk, as it bulks up on bonds rated AAA. Its cautious risk profile shows up as low beta to our benchmark, as well as lower yield. SCPB meanwhile tracks an index that’s identical to our benchmark, so it conforms extremely well to our view of the space.
Vanguard’s VCSH includes bonds in the 1-5-year range rather than our benchmark’s 1-3-year range. Vanguard’s maturity range doesn’t make it a bad fund by any stretch, but it does increase the fund’s maturity, duration and yield relative to our benchmark. Aside from dialing up a bit more interest rate risk, the fund matches the short-term corporate space extremely well. Its sector alignment is excellent—industrials and financials dominate—and it avoids CSJ’s supranational exposure. The fund takes marketlike credit risk too, rounding out its posture as a plain-vanilla fund with a longer definition of “short term”—a position that has boosted total returns lately.
Like VCSH, SLQD reaches further out on the yield curve (0-5 years) relative to our benchmark (1-3 years). This resulted in a higher duration and yield–second highest in the segment, second only to VCSH. However, if you are willing to take on duration risk and seeking yield, VSCH is a more established choice than SLQD. There simply hasn’t been much investor interest in SLQD.
Guggenheim’s BulletShares suite and iShares’ iBonds suite also deliver on their stated goals even if they differ from our benchmark. These funds aim to act like individual bonds held to maturity rather than the more typical bond fund that maintains perpetual exposure to its target maturity. The bullet maturity funds follow a path of shortening maturity and decreasing duration as they move toward planned termination—maturity, in other words—in 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively. They give every indication they’re on course with regard to maturity, and otherwise deliver well-balanced exposure along credit and sector lines. In short, they’re doing their job. (Insight updated 09/22/17)

All Funds (16)

97
96.81967
92
92.451337
73
73.302299
73
73.161371
67
66.638914
66
65.926257
54
54.143423
54
53.796221
53
53.480568
51
50.979296
42
41.72551
N/A
0
N/A
0
52
51.58848903
48
47.98900828
51
50.56530745

ETF.com Grade as 09/14/17

Fixed Income: U.S. - Corporate Investment Grade Short-Term