Total Bond Fund

Definition of 'Total Bond Fund'


A mutual fund or exchange-traded fund that seeks to replicate a broad bond index by owning many securities across a range of maturities, from both public and private sectors. The most common index used as a benchmark is the Lehman Aggregate Bond Index, which captures Treasury bonds, corporate bonds, municipal bonds and high-grade mortgage-backed securities.

Total bond funds may invest in bonds of a similar maturity, class and rating to replicate an issue that is not available for purchase by the fund. These restrictions exist because of the diversity and relative illiquidity of the bond markets compared to equities markets. It is important for a total bond fund to have a similar interest rate and maturity to the base index.

Investopedia explains 'Total Bond Fund'


Total bond fund portfolios actually have a bit more freedom in their security selection than a total stock fund does. Because individual bond issues have less liquidity than stocks, some funds have to bypass certain issues that are in the benchmark index while choosing other bonds that aren't in the index.

Many total bond funds have a small allocation, around 20% of assets, from which bonds can be chosen at the discretion of the managers and held in assets outside the Lehman Index, such as international bonds, derivatives and lower-rated corporate paper. This allows fund managers a chance to invest in some non-correlated assets while keeping the overall risk profile of the fund within the same range as the Lehman Index.

The most important risk metrics to keep close to the index are the maturity, or more specifically the weighted average maturity, as well as the duration, or sensitivity to changes in interest rates.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Pension Risk Transfer

    When a defined benefit pension provider offloads some or all of the plan’s risk – e.g.: retirement payment liabilities to former employee beneficiaries. The plan sponsor can do this by offering vested plan participants a lump-sum payment to voluntarily leave the plan, or by negotiating with an insurance company to take on the responsibility for paying benefits.
  2. XW

    A symbol used to signify that a security is trading ex-warrant. XW is one of many alphabetic qualifiers that act as a shorthand to tell investors key information about a specific security in a stock quote. These qualifiers should not be confused with ticker symbols, some of which, like qualifiers, are just one or two letters.
  3. Quanto Swap

    A swap with varying combinations of interest rate, currency and equity swap features, where payments are based on the movement of two different countries' interest rates. This is also referred to as a differential or "diff" swap.
  4. Genuine Progress Indicator - GPI

    A metric used to measure the economic growth of a country. It is often considered as a replacement to the more well known gross domestic product (GDP) economic indicator. The GPI indicator takes everything the GDP uses into account, but also adds other figures that represent the cost of the negative effects related to economic activity (such as the cost of crime, cost of ozone depletion and cost of resource depletion, among others).
  5. Accelerated Share Repurchase - ASR

    A specific method by which corporations can repurchase outstanding shares of their stock. The accelerated share repurchase (ASR) is usually accomplished by the corporation purchasing shares of its stock from an investment bank. The investment bank borrows the shares from clients or share lenders and sells them to the company.
  6. Microeconomic Pricing Model

    A model of the way prices are set within a market for a given good. According to this model, prices are set based on the balance of supply and demand in the market. In general, profit incentives are said to resemble an "invisible hand" that guides competing participants to an equilibrium price. The demand curve in this model is determined by consumers attempting to maximize their utility, given their budget.
Trading Center