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Why senior loans now?

Portfolio manager Scott Caraher discusses the senior loan market and why the current “higher-for-longer” rate environment may be the perfect time to consider allocating to senior loans in investment portfolios. Highlights include:

  • Considering the longer-term outlook and likelihood of additional rate hikes this year—which could result in even higher income from senior loans—we believe the asset class is well-positioned to deliver positive outcomes to investors.
  • Senior loans’ unique qualities include their low (to zero) duration, floating rate income payments, and senior capital position.
  • One way to access this asset class is through the largest listed senior loan closed-end fund in the market1, Nuveen Floating Rate Income Fund (JFR), which is highly-scaled and employs leverage to enhance income potential.

Senior loan market outlook with Scott Caraher

Scott Caraher, Portfolio Manager, Head of Senior Loans

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Primary investments: Senior loans

Anticipated asset class allocation*
  • Senior loans: 80-100%
  • High yield corporate bonds: 0-20%
  • CLO debt: 0-5%
  • Other: 0-5%

Reasons to consider
  • Reduced interest rate risk
  • High income potential
  • Balanced income and risk

Primary investments: Senior loans, high yield corporate debt and collateralized loan obligation (CLO) debt

Anticipated asset class allocation*
  • Senior loans: 45-75%
  • High yield corporate bonds: 10-40%
  • CLO debt: 0-25%
  • Other: 0-5%

Reasons to consider
  • Reduced interest rate risk
  • Comparatively higher income potential vs. JFR in exchange for greater risk
  • Balanced income and risk

1 Based on gross assets as of September 30, 2023. Morningstar, Inc.

Important information on risk

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investments carry a certain degree of risk, including the possible loss of principal, and there is no assurance that an investment will provide positive performance over any period of time. Certain products and services may not be available to all entities or persons. There is no guarantee that investment objectives will be achieved.

Closed-end fund shares may frequently trade at a discount or premium to their net asset value. Distribution sources may include net investment income, realized gains and return of capital. If a distribution includes anything other than net investment income, the Fund provides a notice of the best estimate of its distribution sources at that time which may be viewed at These estimates may not match the final tax characterization (for the full year's distributions) contained in shareholders' 1099-DIV forms after the end of the year. You should not draw any conclusions about a fund's past or future investment performance from its current distribution rate. The funds regular monthly distributions may be subject to federal and/or state and local taxes and may be re-characterized as ordinary income. Any re-characterization will be reported in shareholders' 1099-DIV forms after the end of the year. Income exempt from federal income tax may be subject to state and local taxes and the alternative minimum tax. Capital gains, if any, will be subject to capital gains tax. It is important to understand these sources, and also the fund’s distribution rate relative to its NAV performance. Leverage increases return volatility and magnifies the Fund's potential return and its risks; there is no guarantee a fund's leverage strategy will be successful. These and other risk considerations such as interest rate risk are described in more detail on the Fund's web page at

The London Interbank Offered Rate or LIBOR, is used throughout global banking and financial industries to determine interest rates for a variety of financial instruments (such as debt instruments and derivatives) and borrowing arrangements. The United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority has undertaken a multiyear phase out of LIBOR. As a result, the administrator of LIBOR ceased publishing certain LIBOR settings after December 31, 2021 and expects to cease publication of all settings after June 30, 2023. The transition away from LIBOR may involve, among other things, increased volatility or illiquidity in markets for instruments that currently rely on LIBOR, such as floating-rate debt obligations.

*The anticipated portfolio allocations are based on current market conditions and the expectations of the portfolio management team. Current market conditions may change and the Fund’s portfolio allocations may vary over time consistent with the Fund’s investment policies.
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