The "big shock" of last year was that despite bond market carnage, "in the U.S. you saw $200 billion go into bond ETFs," Stephen Laipply, U.S. head of iShares fixed income ETFs for BlackRock, said during a panel discussion Tuesday.
Mr. Laipply's comments came in response to a question from Jim Bianco, president of Bianco Research, who moderated the panel titled "Fixed Income – Modern Perspectives," at the Exchange: An ETF Experience conference in Miami.
Mr. Bianco had asked panelists whether last year scarred investors and if there was any concern that they are leaving the bond market.
"There's yield again, and that's something we hadn't seen in a while, so I don't think people are going to stay away," said panelist Jeffrey Sherman, deputy chief Investment officer at DoubleLine. "I think the people that are scarred are us."
Mr. Sherman said he felt as if he aged 10 years last year.
"Because every day's an outflow … the market's down," he said. "You want to talk about getting your teeth kicked in? It wears on your psyche."
To wrap up the panel, Mr. Bianco asked the panelists to summarize their view on bond investing and portfolios in 2023.
"Bonds are back, that's great," Mr. Laipply said. "Again, the ride was rough, but now we're back."
The great thing for investors is that they have a "tremendous tool kit" at their disposal now, he said.
"There are hundreds of bond ETFs in the market that you can use to help build portfolios," Mr. Laipply said.