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 December 2019)

Investment vehicles

  • Separate account
  • Institutional commingled

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 will typically range between 1.5% and 3.0%
  • Typical duration range is +/- 1 year

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. See the composite report for a summary of risk considerations. 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 December 31, 2019

  MTD QTD 1 Year 3 Years 5 Years 10 Years
U.S. High Yield (gross) 1.69% 2.99% 15.28% 6.58% 6.21% 7.67%
U.S. High Yield (net) 1.64% 2.84% 14.63% 5.98% 5.62% 7.02%
JPMorgan Developed High Yield Index 2.18% 2.89% 14.60% 6.45% 6.36% 7.88%

Calendar-year composite performance (%) as of December 31, 2019

  2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
U.S. High Yield (gross) 15.28% -2.76% 8.01% 16.46% -4.13% 2.91% 8.53% 16.73% 3.17% 15.17%
U.S. High Yield (net) 14.63% -3.31% 7.41% 15.81% -4.67% 2.29% 7.82% 15.97% 2.50% 14.42%
JPMorgan Developed High Yield Index 14.60% -2.36% 7.80% 18.22% -4.53% 2.15% 8.42% 15.67% 6.59% 14.86%

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. Please refer to the composite report and disclosures below for additional important information regarding performance disclosures and investments risks.

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


Important disclosures

The Putnam Investments U.S. High Yield Composite (the "Composite") seeks above-average total returns relative to its agreed benchmark (JPMorgan Developed High Yield Index) through an actively managed, broadly diversified exposure to below-investment grade issues. The Composite includes all fully discretionary accounts managed by Putnam in this investment style. 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.

Composites may include portfolios with certain existing investment restrictions that the Firm believes do not materially impact the 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 may differ materially from those of the index used for comparative purposes. Composites and benchmarks include the reinvestment of dividends and other earnings. Indexes are unmanaged and do not incur expenses. You cannot invest directly in an index. Gross-of-fee returns do 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-of-fee returns are calculated using a model fee. For the applicable time periods, net-of-fees returns reflect either the deduction of the highest management fee that is paid by a portfolio in the Composite during the performance period, applied on a monthly basis, or the deduction of the highest applicable management fee in effect during the performance period that would be charged based on the fee schedule appropriate to this mandate, without the benefit of breakpoints, applied on a monthly basis, whichever is higher. Net-of-fee calculation methodology may change over time. Actual investment advisory fees incurred by clients are typically negotiated on an individual basis and may vary depending upon, among other things, the applicable fee schedule and portfolio size. Our standard fee schedules are available upon request.