译者 王为

文中黑字部分为原文,蓝字部分为译文,红字部分为译者注释或补充说明

Why Invest in International Bonds?

By Kathy A Jones

机构观点之CharlesSchwab:为什么要投资美国以外的债券市场?

No matter what kind of bond you own, its price and yield are going to be influenced by a number of risk factors—the direction of interest rates, inflation expectations and the credit of the issuer being the most prominent among them. When you invest in international bonds, you add another level of risk stemming from currency markets, economic growth and monetary policy in the issuing country.

不管投资者持有的是何种债券,其价格和收益率水平都会受到一些风险因素的影响,其中最关键的是利率走向、通胀预期以及发行人的信用状况。如果投资的是外国债券市场,投资者还将遇到来自发行人所在国家汇率市场、经济增长状况以及货币政策等其他层面的风险。

One might ask: Why bother with foreign bonds at all? After all, the U.S. economy seems to be in better shape than many other economies. In addition, yields on U.S. bonds may be low, but at least they’re not negative, as has been the case in some developed markets in recent years.

可能有人会问:为什么要为美国以外的债券市场而劳神费力?毕竟,美国经济看上去比其他许多国家要强,此外,美国债券市场的收益率水平也许是不高,但至少比这几年来一些发达国家债券收益率掉到零以下要强。

The simple answer is diversification. When you buy a foreign bond, you take on some exposure to a different economy and interest rates. And if a foreign bond is denominated in another currency, you stand to benefit if that currency rises against the dollar (though you also face the risk that a currency will weaken).

答案很简单:投资要多元化。如果买入一只外国债券,投资者就对美国之外某个国家的经济形势及利率走势形成了敞口风险。如果外国债券以外币标价,投资者肯定会在这个非美元货币对美元汇率升值的情况下获益,尽管也会碰到该货币对美元的汇率贬值的情况。

That’s why international bonds are one of the three building blocks of a diversified bond portfolio, the other two being core bonds and aggressive income assets (see “3 building blocks of your bond portfolio,” below). Schwab recommends that investors hold up to 10% of their overall portfolio allocation in international bonds, depending on their risk tolerance.

这就是为什么说外国债券是多元化债券投资组合的三个支柱之一的原因了,其他两个是核心债券和激进收益型债券(关于这三类债券的解释请见文章最后),我们的建议是投资者应根据自身的风险承受能力最多将债券投资组合的10%用于配置外国债券。

Here we’ll look at how international bonds differ from U.S. bonds and some of the risks and other considerations for including international bonds in your fixed income portfolio.

下面我们要看一下外国债券与美国债券之间都有哪些不同之处以及在固定收益投资组合中加入外国债券时应考虑的因素。

A tale of two bond types

两类债券有何不同?

The global bond market far surpasses the global stock market in terms of both size and complexity. This can pose a challenge to investors looking to build a globalized fixed income portfolio, so it makes sense to divide international bonds into two groups:

全球债券市场在规模总量和复杂程度方面要远胜全球股票市场一筹,这就对寻求构筑全球化固定收益投资组合的投资者构成了挑战,因此比较好的做法是将外国债券分成两个大类:

  • Developed market bondsinclude government and corporate bonds from more economically advanced countries, like Japan or the countries of Europe. While developed market bonds often have investment-grade credit ratings, the credit quality can vary.

    发达国家债券,比如日本或欧洲各国等经济发达国家发行的公债和公司债, 但每个发达国家的投资评级通常也各不相同;

  • Emerging market bondsinclude securities from the developing world, such as China and other fast-growing economies in Asia, as well as some South American countries. These tend to be riskier than bonds from developed countries, which means that they may offer higher interest payments. But given their increased risk, most investors should consider limiting their exposure to them.

    新兴市场国家债券,比如中国和其他经济快速增长的发展中国家包括南美国家的债券。此类债券的风险往往比发达国家债券更高,意味着收益率也更高。但鉴于此类债券的风险在上升,大多数投资者应考虑限制对此类债券的风险敞口规模。

Currency effects

汇率波动带来的影响

Foreign bond returns can be impacted by interest income, price changes and currency fluctuations. Interest income is usually positive, and because bonds offer fixed coupons—barring a default, of course—this part of a bond’s total return is predictable.

影响外国债券投资回报的因素有票息收益的大小、价格的变化以及汇率的涨跌。票息收益通常是正的现金流,因为债券的票息通常是固定的,当然除非发生违约的情况,因此债券投资总收益中的这一部分是可预测的。

Price and currency changes are less predictable and can vary depending on the market. Price changes depend on the direction of interest rates in the country where the bond is issued. Generally, when rates go up, bond prices fall, and vice versa.

价格变化以及汇率涨跌这两部分很难预测,其收益随着行情的波动而变化。价格变化取决于债券发行人所在国利率的走势,一般来讲,如果利率水平升高,债券价格会下跌;反之亦然。

Currency swings affect the value of interest payments and also amplify price changes, so they can have an outsized impact on returns (see “Components of return,” below). For example, if you owned a euro-denominated bond, and the euro strengthened against the dollar, your returns from that bond would be higher in dollar terms. Of course, the opposite is also true, as a strong dollar erodes the value of returns in weaker currencies.

汇率涨跌会影响票息收益的大小并放大债券价格的波动幅度,因此给债券投资的回报带来非常大的影响。比如投资者买入的是欧元标价的债券,欧元/美元的汇率出现升值,那么以美元为基准来衡量,该笔债券投资的回报将得到提升。当然了,反之亦然,因为美元升值会侵蚀该笔债券投资所获的收益。

Components of return

债券投资回报率的构成中受汇率波动影响的部分

Currency returns can have a big impact on international bond returns.

汇率收益会给外国债券的投资回报带来很大影响,下图为彭博巴克莱非美元货币债券总回报指数,图中的浅蓝色线柱为汇率波动给债券收益带来的影响。

机构观点之CharlesSchwab:为什么要投资美国以外的债券市场?

*As of 05/31/2019.

Source: Schwab Center for Financial Research using Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate ex-USD Total Return Index. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Diversification benefits

多元化投资的好处

Because foreign bonds are subject to different economic growth, interest rate and currency market conditions, they tend to perform differently from U.S. bonds. Emerging market and developed market bonds have a negative or very weak positive correlation with U.S. Treasuries—meaning that the investments rarely move in tandem.

因为投资外国债券会受到不同国家的经济增长状况、利率水平和外汇市场行情的影响,因此其收益情况通常会与投资美国债券有所不同。新兴市场国家和发达国家的债券与美国国债之间呈现的是负关联关系或很弱的正关联关系,这也就意味着这两类债券基本上不会同涨同跌。

How to invest

如何投资外国债券?

Investors who are seeking an allocation to foreign bonds in their fixed income portfolios could consider investing through a diversified bond fund or through an active professional manager.

寻求将固定收益组合中一部分资金用于配置外国债券的投资者在操作时可以考虑通过多元化配置风格的债券基金或通过主动管理型投资机构进行。

For some investors, a combination of passive (indexing) and active strategies may make sense. An actively managed fund could provide access to a wider array of securities for greater diversification than an index fund. Also, actively managed funds can adjust their holdings in response to market conditions if necessary, unlike index funds (though actively managed funds tend to have higher fees, so that needs to be taken into consideration).

对于某些投资者来说,将盯住指数的被动型投资和主动型交易策略结合起来应是靠谱的做法。主动管理型债券基金可以让投资者获得比指数型基金更大的投资标的选择余地,而且,主动型基金在必要的情况下可以根据市场情况调整其债券持仓,这一点不同于指数型基金,尽管主动型基金的手续费通常更高,因此在做投资决策的时候应该考虑到这一点。

3 building blocks of your bond portfolio

债券投资组合的三个主要构成部分

Core bonds:U.S. Treasury bonds, investment-grade corporate bonds and municipal bonds can help provide diversification, stability and income. Although allocations can vary, they can comprise up to 100% of your overall portfolio allocation.

核心债券:一般包括美国国债、投资级公司债和市政债券,这些债券有助于为债券投资组合提供分散化、稳定性和票息收益。尽管配置比率可多可少,但核心债券在整个债券投资组合中的占比最高可达100%。

Aggressive income:U.S. high-yield corporate bonds, emerging market bonds and preferred securities all offer higher income potential, but at significantly higher risk compared with core bonds. Even if you are an aggressive investor with a high tolerance for risk, aggressive income products should make up no more than 20% of your overall portfolio allocation.

激进收益型债券:一般包括美国高收益公司债、新兴市场债券和优先股类证券,此类债券均有可能带来较高的票息收益,但与核心债券相比风险明显偏高。即使投资者的风格属于风险承受能力较强的激进型投资者,激进收益型债券在整个投资组合中的占比也不应超过20%。

International developed bonds:Non-U.S. developed country bonds can provide diversification, but often carry higher risk. They can make up as much as 10% of your overall portfolio allocation.

发达国家债券:美国以外发达国家发行的债券可以给投资者带来多元化的投资选项,但此类债券的风险通常较高,在整个投资组合中的占比可达到10%。