Investors must be in love with bonds since they are getting little in yield by acquiring investments from fixed income fund companies. As of March 20, 2020, the portfolio yield to maturity (YTM) of the iShares U.S. Treasury Bond ETF (IGOV) was 0.79%. That is before the 0.15% expense ratio. Since most analysts believe that the best long-term predictor of fixed income returns is the net YTM, these investors are giving money to the managers without expecting much return!
It is even worst for short-term bond fund holders. Many of them are concerned about rising rates going forward so they have lowered their fixed income duration or average maturity exposure. The iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond ETF (ISHG) has a portfolio YTM of 0.11%! And there is a 15 basis points expense ratio charged to these investors as well! These investors are giving money to the managers without expecting any return!