Many people are often faced with the seemingly difficult situation of trying to maximize their income due to lack of sufficient cash flow. This becomes even more of a problem as economic growth slows and employers lay off workers and cut salaries in order to help manage their cost structures during a downturn. Luckily, there are some investments that offer regular distributions that can help add a few extra dollars to your household balance sheet every month.
One such investment is a high yield bond index fund. High yield bonds - also known as "junk bonds" - are the debt of corporations and other entities that may be experiencing financial distress. As a result, investors receive a higher interest rate as compensation for the greater risk to their invested cash. As Rob Williams, director of Income Planning at Schwab notes, "Defaults on investment-grade bonds have historically been low, though the frequency increases as credit quality declines."
Better still, the diversification of a high yield bond index fund ensures that if one issuer were to default, the likelihood of a significant impact on the rest of the portfolio is minimum. How do such funds help maximize current income? The funds pay out their distributions monthly and in the case of the Vanguard High-Yield Corporate Investor Shares (VWEHX), currently yields 6.91%. Thus, even though the numbers might appear small in the beginning - only $30 or so extra a month on a $5,000 investment - you have the choice of taking that cash every month to maximize current income or reinvesting it to help your stake compound which will lead to even higher passive income amounts in the future.
Overall, high-yield bond funds are a much better avenue for investing in high yield securities due to their overall lower risk profile, low fees and impressive long-run returns.