Ivy ProShares S&P 500 Bond Index Fund

12.31.19

Market Sector Update

  • The inversion between the yield curves of the 2-year and 10-year Treasuries reverted in October, largely driven by further easing in policy rates and additional liquidity added by the Federal Reserve.
  • Treasury yields rose during the quarter as sentiment favored a risk-on mentality – the long end of the curve was up 40 basis points (bps).
  • Central banks around the world continue to struggle with the low inflationary environment. In 2019, 42 central banks cut policy rates by an average of 75 bps and seven different regions pushed interest rates to record low.

Portfolio Strategy

  • A passively managed index fund, the Fund had a positive return and performed in line with its benchmark for the quarter.
  • Longer-dated bonds outperformed shorter-dated bonds and lower-rated credits modestly besting higher-quality credits.
  • Ten of the 11 sectors were positive for the quarter, with utilities being the lone negative performer. The top performing sectors were materials, communication services and health care.
  • Investment grade corporate spreads modestly throughout the quarter.
  • Total issuance of investment-grade corporate bonds slowed somewhat following September’s record funding spree.

Outlook

  • Despite progress on the first phase of a trade agreement between the U.S. and China, fed fund futures are pricing in another rate cut during the first quarter of 2020.
  • Continued geopolitical concerns and the impact of tariff-related sanctions pose headwinds to global gross domestic product growth. Deteriorating leading economic indicators in much of Europe will also weigh on global growth.
  • Demand for high quality corporates from pension funds, insurance companies and foreign investors will likely remain strong. In addition, supportive monetary policy, along with decreasing issuance, could benefit investment grade bond investors in 2020.

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 Dec. 31, 2019, 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 designed to track the performance of its stated benchmark index. It 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 its respective benchmark Index without regard to market conditions, trends or direction.

The S&P 500® /MarketAxess® Investment Grade Corporate Bond Index seeks to measure the performance of corporate debt issued in the U.S. by S&P 500 companies. It is a market value-weighted subset of the S&P 500 Investment Grade Corporate Bond index that seeks to measure the performance of corporate debt issued in the U.S. by companies (and their subsidiaries in the S&P 500), subject to additional liquidity rules. Indexes are unmanaged and one cannot invest directly in any index.

Jeffrey Ploshnick served as a portfolio manager on the Fund until April 2019.

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. As of November 30, 2017, the index was concentrated in the financial industry group; therefore, the Fund is subject to the same risks faced by companies in the financials industry to the same extent as the index is so concentrated. Such risks include extensive government regulation, fluctuation of profitability, and credit losses resulting from financial difficulties of borrowers. 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.