U.S. High Yield

The strategy seeks to achieve above-average total return relative to the JPMorgan Developed High Yield Index through actively managed, broadly diversified exposure to below investment grade issuers.*

Strategy highlights

Inception date

July 31, 1993


JPMorgan Developed High Yield Index

Total strategy assets


(as of April 2024)

Investment vehicles

  • Separate account
  • U.S. mutual fund

We believe outperformance is driven by:

  • Pursuing capital appreciation in credits with improving fundamentals
  • Skeptically investing in deteriorating or stagnant credits based on rigorous scenario analysis
  • Actively managing the top-down portfolio profile based on market outlook
  • Selecting issuers driven by bottom-up fundamental credit analysis
  • Adhering consistently to a risk-controlled process


We see multiple opportunities to pursue strong performance:

  • Wide range of issuers of various size, complexity, and geography
  • Capital structure complexity: senior, subordinate, and secured bonds as well as loans, convertibles, hybrids and preferred, and equity securities
  • Dislocations between cash instruments and derivatives
  • Varied security types including bullet maturities, floating rate notes, call/put option structures, covered bonds, etc.

Tracking error targets are based on a number of assumptions and are subject to revision and may change materially with changes in underlying assumptions. While the investment manager considers tracking error in the investment process, the strategy's composition and performance may vary substantially from that of the target. Achieved tracking error is the result of many factors, including market conditions and there can be no assurance that the tracking error actually reflected in client portfolios will be at levels indicated in the investment objectives.

*No assurance can be given that the investment objective will be achieved or that an investor will receive a return of all or part of his or her initial investment. Actual results could be materially different from the stated goals. Investors should carefully consider the risks involved before deciding to invest. As with any investment, there is a potential for profit as well as the possibility of loss.

Assets may include accounts that are not reflected in the composite.

Investment team


Annualized composite performance (%) as of April 30, 2024

  MTD QTD YTD 1 Year 3 Years 5 Years 10 Years
U.S. High Yield (gross) -0.91% -0.91% 0.97% 9.03% 1.86% 4.12% 4.53%
U.S. High Yield (net) -0.96% -0.96% 0.78% 8.41% 1.29% 3.53% 3.94%
JPMorgan Developed High Yield Index -0.74% -0.74% 1.19% 9.80% 2.12% 3.89% 4.41%

Calendar-year composite performance (%) as of April 30, 2024

  2023 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
U.S. High Yield (gross) 13.06% -10.54% 5.70% 7.39% 15.27% -2.76% 8.01% 16.46% -4.13% 2.91%
U.S. High Yield (net) 12.43% -11.04% 5.11% 6.78% 14.63% -3.31% 7.41% 15.81% -4.67% 2.29%
JPMorgan Developed High Yield Index 13.77% -10.47% 5.92% 5.34% 14.60% -2.36% 7.80% 18.22% -4.53% 2.15%

Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. An investment in this strategy could lose value. Most recent month-end performance is preliminary. Returns are subject to change.

Periods less than one year are not annualized. Performance is stated in U.S. dollars and includes the reinvestment of dividends and interest.


Related topics


Strategy profile

Important disclosures


The Putnam Investments U.S. High Yield Composite (the “Composite”) seeks high current income with capital appreciation through actively managed, broadly diversified exposure to below investment grade issuers. The Composite strategy pursues a higher level of income than most bonds offer by investing in higher-yielding, lower rated corporate bonds. The strategy can invest across a range of industries and companies, investing mainly in bonds that are obligations of U.S. companies, are below  investment-grade in quality, and have intermediate- to long-term maturities (three years or longer). The Composite’s benchmark is the JPMorgan Developed High Yield Index. The Composite may contain accounts with different but largely similar benchmarks. Leverage is not utilized in any account in this Composite. Derivatives, such as futures, options, certain foreign currency transactions and swap contracts, may be used for both hedging and non-hedging purposes. The Composite includes all fully discretionary accounts, including carve-outs, managed by Putnam in this U.S. High Yield investment style. Due to a wide measure of internal dispersion, effective June 1, 2021, the Composite was redefined to exclude U.S. High Yield portfolios with a material allocation to U.S. convertibles securities and portfolios benchmarked to a blended index consisting of a 80% weighting to the ICE BofA U.S. High Yield Index and a 20% weighting to the ICE BofA All U.S. Convertibles Index. In addition, effective June 1, 2021, the Composite was redefined to allow for the inclusion of carve-outs. Carve-outs included in the Composite are managed separately with their own cash balance. A “carve-out” is a portion of a portfolio that is by itself representative of a distinct investment strategy. It is used to create a track record for a narrower mandate from a multiple-strategy portfolio managed to a broader mandate. The Composite inception date was July 31, 1993. The Composite creation date was January 23, 2004.

The JP Morgan Developed High Yield Index is designed to mirror the investable universe of the U.S. dollar global high yield corporate debt market, including domestic and international issues. The index limits the number of issues represented by any single issuer in the index.

Gross performance includes the deduction of transaction costs but does not include the deduction of management fees and other expenses that may be incurred in managing an investment account. A portfolio's return will be reduced by advisory and other fees. Net performance reflects the deduction of a model fee applied on a monthly basis, equal to the actual management fee incurred by a portfolio in the Composite or the highest management fee that would be charged to a prospect of the strategy, whichever is higher. The model fee may change over time. Actual advisory fees may vary among clients with the same investment strategy. The Composite includes all actual, fully discretionary accounts with substantially similar investment policies and objectives managed to the Composite's investment strategy. Benchmarks are generally taken from published sources and may have different calculation methodologies, pricing times, and/or foreign-exchange sources from the Composite. The effect of those differences is generally deemed to be immaterial. The securities holdings of the Composite strategy may differ materially from those of the index used for comparative purposes.