Summary: You are probably not going to do a lot worse than the average core bond fund when investing in the JP Morgan Core Bond Fund, but you are are unlikely to do a lot better.
Commentary: The only thing that stands out to me about the JP Morgan Core Bond Fund is its size. Its one of the 10 largest bond funds in the world. Don’t get me wrong, the performance of the fund is not bad, but its no better than mediocre.
There are some positives however, including the fact that the fund has been around for more than 21 years, and its lead manager has been there for that long as well. Secondly the fund takes less credit risk than most other fund’s in its category. During the 2008 financial crisis it showed, as the fund was up 3.96% in a year where the average core bond fund was down 4.7%. Since that time however it has lagged or barely beat the average fund in its category.
Short-Term Performance: Poor. The fund has lagged the average core bond fund over the last one and three year time periods. Over the last year the fund has lagged the average core bond fund by 1.08%. Over the last 3 years the fund has lagged the average core bond fund by .45% per year on average.
Long-Term Performance: Good. The fund has beaten the performance of the average core bond fund over the last 5 and 10 year periods by .68% and .34% per year on average respectively.
Returns Relative to Risk: OK. The JP Morgan Core Bond Fund does not take a lot of risk but its returns aren’t that high either.
Fees: OK The Fund charges a .75% annual expense ratio which is on the low end for this type of fund. However, it also charges a front end load of 3.75%. While this is not a large front end load, we do not recommend investing in funds with front end loads here at Learn Bonds. You can learn more about bond mutual fund fees here.
Manager Tenure: Excellent The fund’s manager has been with the fund for 21 years.