How junk bonds shrugged off their tarnished reputation

$239 billion

$239 billion in high yield US bonds were issued in 2016. But the large—and growing—high yield market hasn’t always been so massive.

Source: SIFMA 2017
$239 billion

High yield bonds have been around as long as most other corporate bonds, but they really picked up speed in the 1970s and 1980s.

$239 billion

“Fallen-angel” companies who lost their investment-grade credit status began issuing what were referred to as “junk” bonds.

$239 billion

After the Great Recession, the search for yield helped junk bonds shed their rocky reputation. Commonly referred to now as “high yield” instead of junk, their popularity soared.

$239 billion

Today, high yield bonds are a big segment of the bond market, and the accessibility of high yield bond ETFs has made them increasingly popular.

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