Gundlach Says Buy Rate Volatility Via Treasury Bond ETF

(Bloomberg) -- Billionaire fund manager Jeffrey Gundlach is concerned about the future direction of interest rates.

The chief investment officer of Doubline Capital told the Sohn Investment Conference in New York that interest rates cannot maintain the low volatility they’ve experienced in the past eight years.

His investment recommendation: buy interest-rate volatility on long-maturity U.S. Treasuries via a put-call straddle on TLT.

The $12.2 billion iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF, known by its ticker TLT, is the most popular exchange-traded fund that tracks longer duration bonds, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence. So far this year, investors have poured more than $3 billion into the fund as yields have been tempered. The strategy is up roughly 3 percent year-to-date, and benefits when yields fall.

Gundlach said all one needs is a 50 basis-point change in the long-bond in the next year to make money on this trade. Six months from now, if volatility has doubled, investors would have a 40 percent gain even if interest rates haven’t moved, he said.

“Just the volatility doubling sometime in the next year is very likely to make you money,” he said.

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