Ivy ProShares Interest Rate Hedged High Yield Index Fund

Ivy ProShares Interest Rate Hedged High Yield Index Fund
03.31.18

Market Sector Update

  • During the first quarter, the Treasury yield curve shifted higher and flattened modestly, as short-term yields rose at a slightly higher rate as compared to those on the long end of the curve. As widely expected, the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) raised interest rates in March by another 25 basis points (bps), which comes on the heels of three increases during 2017. Amidst a marked uptick in equity market volatility driven by fears of inflation and concerns over the impacts of a trade war, the high yield bond market was resilient and posted just a small loss during the quarter.
  • Yields rose on the two-year U.S. Treasury by 38 bps, while yields on the five-year U.S. Treasury increased by 35 bps and 33 bps on the 10-year bond for the quarter.

Portfolio Strategy

  • The Fund slightly outperformed its benchmark (before the effect of sales charges) for the quarter. Performance was driven primarily by high-yield bond yields, and was mostly offset by the impact of movement in credit spreads and the cost of the hedge.
  • The Fund consists of a portfolio of diversified high yield bonds combined with short positions in Treasury futures that are designed to offset the interest rate risk inherent in high yield bonds.

Outlook

  • It appears market volatility will remain a factor for the foreseeable future, especially with the possible escalation of trade disputes with key U.S. partners. We believe the Fed will stay true to its monetary policy, continuing to raise the federal funds rate at a measured pace. Curent spread levels are viewed as being in the tight to midpoint range for high yield bonds. Default in this area has been relatively low and is expected to continue this trend.

The opinions expressed are those of the Fund’s managers and are not meant as investment advice or to predict or project the future performance of any investment product. The opinions are current through March 31, 2018, are subject to change at any time based on market and other current conditions, and no forecasts can be guaranteed. This commentary is being provided as a general source of information and is not intended as a recommendation to purchase, sell, or hold any specific security or to engage in any investment strategy. Investment decisions should always be made based on an investor’s specific objectives, financial needs, risk tolerance and time horizon. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

Diversification is an investment strategy that attempts to manage risk within your portfolio but it does not guarantee profits or protect against loss in declining markets.

The Fund is a passively managed index fund and does not invest in securities based on the managers’ view of the investment merit of a particular security or company, nor does it conduct conventional investment research or analysis or forecast market movement or trends, in managing the assets of the Fund. The Fund seeks to remain fully invested at all times in securities that, in combination, provide exposure to the index without regard to market conditions, trends or direction.

The Fund entails other risks, including imperfect benchmark correlation and market price variance that may decrease performance. While the Fund attempts to track the performance of its stated index, there is no guarantee or assurance that the methodology used to create the Index will result in the Fund achieving high, or even positive, returns. The index may underperform, and the Fund could lose value, while other indices or measures of market performance increase in value. An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. These and other risks are more fully described in the Fund’s prospectus. Not all funds or fund classes may be offered at all broker/dealers.

Risk factors: The value of the Fund's shares will change, and you could lose money on your investment. While the Fund attempts to track the performance of its stated index, there is no guarantee or assurance that the methodology used to create the index will result in the Fund achieving high, or even positive, returns. The Index may underperform, and the Fund could lose value, while other indices or measures of market performance increase in value. Fixed income securities are subject to interest rate risk and, as such, the net asset value of the Fund may fall as interest rates rise. Investing in below investment grade securities may carry a greater risk of nonpayment of interest or principal than higher-rated bonds. The Index (and, therefore, the Fund) seeks to mitigate the potential negative impact of rising Treasury interest rates on the performance of high yield bonds by taking short positions in U.S. Treasury Securities. Such short positions are not intended to mitigate credit risk or other factors influencing the price of high yield bonds, which may have a greater impact than rising or falling interest rates, and there is no guarantee that the short positions will completely eliminate the interest rate risk of the long high yield bond positions. The Fund's use of derivatives presents several risks, including the risk that these instruments may change in value in a manner that adversely affects the Fund's net asset value and the risk that fluctuations in the value of the derivatives may not correlate with the reference instrument underlying the derivative. A number of factors may affect the Fund's ability to achieve a high degree of correlation with the Index, and there is no guarantee that the Fund will achieve a high degree of correlation. Failure to achieve a high degree of correlation may prevent the Fund from achieving its investment objective. An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. These and other risks are more fully described in the Fund's prospectus. Not all funds or fund classes may be offered at all broker/dealers.