I'm looking for a place to park funds for a 1-3 year period, which rules out stocks.
I found SFHY, a short term corporate bond fund, which has a current quoted yield of 4.33% and a "YTD Daily Total Return" of 3.05%. That sounds ok, as it will at least do better at keeping up with inflation than a so-called high yield savings account or CD. However, since unlike an individual bond the fund doesn't have a maturity date and presumably rolls over into new bonds from time to time as existing bonds mature, this still has interest rate risk so I thought I would look at the individual holdings to see if any of them would be suitable.
I tried to look up all the bonds showed in the top ten holdings, which amount to nearly 25% of the fund's holding. Some of them I couldn't find, such as "Tenet Healthcare Corporation 5.13%" - I found the 6.75% issue for the same company though. But all of the ones I did find had yields of less than 3%. Maybe the remaining 75% magically have much higher current yields based on the fund price, but I doubt it. If I run a screen for corporate bonds in general, the highest yields I find for short terms bonds (3 Years or less) on the secondary market top out at just under 2%!
Since this is a fund that trades on the market, I would expect the value of the fund itself to change based on interest rates, and more accurately, on the actual market value of the underlying bonds. For instance, the "Tenet Healthcare Corporation 6.75%" is actually only yielding around 1.9% so I would expect that this fund would get bid up appropriately so that the portion of this bond in the fund actually pays 1.9% to anyone buying this fund.
I found this old question but it seems to be asking about annualized performance over several years, where in the above case I would assume that the quoted yield is no more than 6 months old, since it should reflect at worst the last payment, although in fact I would expect it to be more up to date unless the fund is churning a lot since it's easy to extrapolate based on the last payout and unlike dividend payments the coupon amount is fixed for the life of the bond. Furthermore, I don't know how often the fund itself turns over due to matured bonds, but I can't imagine that would be more than every six months either. And I would also expect that new bonds would have coupons close to the yields of the maturing bonds so that there wouldn't be much change there. If anything, rates have actually risen slightly in the past 6 months, so I would expect a lagging yield to be lower than current actual yield.
So what's going on here? How is the fund seemingly paying out nearly twice the yield of the bonds it owns?