U.S.'s Biggest Bond Fund Fears U.S. Economy Is Peaking

Metropolitan West Total Return Bond, flush with new investors, opts for super-safe assets.

(Image credit: alexkava)

The bond-fund world has a new monarch. With $78.6 billion in assets, Metropolitan West Total Return Bond (MWTRX) has vaulted past Pimco Total Return to become the nation’s biggest actively run bond fund. The development is in large part due to the hordes of investors who left Pimco after the departure of cofounder Bill Gross in 2014. Many of those investors moved to the MetWest fund, whose assets have tripled since early 2014.

The funds share more than identical names. Both invest mainly in medium-maturity investment-grade bonds. Moreover, three of the MetWest fund’s managers—Stephen Kane, Laird Landmann and Tad Rivelle—worked at Pimco before starting MetWest in 1996. The founding trio make the big-picture calls on all nine of the firm’s funds; other managers and analysts pick the bonds.

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Nellie S. Huang
Senior Associate Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Nellie joined Kiplinger in August 2011 after a seven-year stint in Hong Kong. There, she worked for the Wall Street Journal Asia, where as lifestyle editor, she launched and edited Scene Asia, an online guide to food, wine, entertainment and the arts in Asia. Prior to that, she was an editor at Weekend Journal, the Friday lifestyle section of the Wall Street Journal Asia. Kiplinger isn't Nellie's first foray into personal finance: She has also worked at SmartMoney (rising from fact-checker to senior writer), and she was a senior editor at Money.