Strategy Spotlight

Active Management Over Time: US Core and Core Plus Bond Strategies

Why Western Asset’s fundamental value investing approach never goes out of style

About the strategy

Investing with Intention: Our US Core and Core Plus Strategies

Western Asset’s US Core and Core Plus fixed-income strategies are built based on the Firm’s long-standing fundamental value investing philosophy, and seek to outperform their relevant benchmarks while approximating benchmark risk. Driven by the extensive research and experience of Western Asset’s portfolio managers, these strategies have endured the test of time by staying true to their mandates while seeking to generate attractive income and total return for investors. Since 1971, Western Asset has managed risk and sought value in fixed-income through multiple business cycles and economic environments.

The Case for Western Asset's US Broad Market Strategies

Portfolio Manager John Bellows explains why Western Asset believes 2023 will be a year of opportunity for fixed-income investors. Following the difficult year of 2022, which saw declines in almost all risk assets, we expect 2023 will not only see a rebound for fixed-income, but it should also see fixed-income re-establish its traditional role of ballast against equities. Given our US Core and Core Plus strategies’ central tenets of value and diversification, we believe they are well positioned to take advantage of the current market environment for the benefit of our investors.

Insights: US Broad Market Update

As an active value manager, sometimes we find our positioning offsides. We have been in this position before and in each of those instances, we were able to recover and achieve new highs. We’re confident we can do that again.
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Key Convictions 4Q23

Learn more about Western Asset’s highest conviction views for fixed-income markets and opportunities, aggregated in an at-a-glance dashboard.
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A History of Resilience Over Time: US Core and Core Plus

Western Asset has carefully managed risk and sought value in fixed-income by adhering to our long-held principles and time-tested processes that have enabled us to weather rocky markets and come out stronger on the other side—all for the benefit of our clients. Read More

US Core and Core Plus Key Features

These strategies aim to deliver returns through active investment in a high-quality US Core fixed-income portfolio with opportunistic investments in high-yield, non-US bonds and emerging market debt.

  1. Team-Based, Time-Tested
    For over 50 years, our active management process that relies on fundamental value investing has persevered across many market cycles despite periods of drawdown.
  2. Long-Term Focus
    The strategies have withstood the test of time across many market cycles by tapping into multiple drivers of returns designed to cushion volatility.
  3. Rigorous Risk Management Process
    The strategies benefit from our in-depth risk mitigation process, which includes robust communication and escalation procedures, to help best match with client risk tolerances.

Western Asset Core Bond Strategy seeks to maximize total return from a high-quality, US-dollar-denominated Core fixed-income portfolio. Historically, the Core strategy has exceeded its benchmark return by 75 basis points annually over the course of a market cycle while approximating benchmark risk.

Western Asset Core Plus Bond Strategy seeks to maximize total return from a high-quality, US domestic core fixed-income portfolio that can be enhanced by allocations to sectors such as high-yield, non-US and emerging market debt. Historically, the Core Plus strategy has exceeded the benchmark return by 150 basis points annually over the course of a market cycle while approximating benchmark risk.

Western Asset investment strategy profiles include overviews, objectives, performance, risk information and more.

Western Asset Core Bond Strategy

Western Asset Core Plus Bond Strategy






Meet the Western Asset Team

We employ a team-based approach to navigating fixed-income markets around the globe; all investment decisions are thoroughly debated by Western Asset’s deep bench of investment professionals.

  • Over 50 years of history dedicated to fixed-income investing
  • Fixed-income manager with $388.9 billion AUM*
  • 123 investment professionals with an average of 25 years of investment experience

*As of December 31, 2023