Bridge over ocean
1 March 2015 Financial Analysts Journal Volume 71, Issue 2

Bond Ladders and Rolling Yield Convergence

  1. Martin L. Leibowitz, PhD
  2. Anthony Bova, CFA
  3. Stanley Kogelman

Most investment-grade bond portfolios have stable durations and can be regarded as “duration targeted” (DT). For DT portfolios, multiyear returns converge to the starting rolling yield if the yield curve undergoes a sequence of strictly parallel shifts. The theoretical convergence horizon is one year less than twice the duration target. The laddered portfolios favored by private investors are essentially DT, and surprisingly, their convergence return coincides with the starting yield of the ladder’s “top-rung” bond.

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