How Can I Track Mortgage Backed Securities?

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Mortgage-backed securities or MBS are bonds that participate in a pool of home mortgages. The primary issuers of MBS are the Government National Mortgage Association, or GNMA; the Federal National Mortgage Association, or FNMA; and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, or FGLMC. The prices of different MBS pools or indexes covering the MBS market are available to investors.

Go to your preferred stock price information website, such as Yahoo Finance or Google Finance. The MBS market can be most-easily followed by watching the price of a MBS-focused, exchange-traded fund (ETF).

Enter the symbol MBB. The results will be the current price for the iShares Barclays MBS Bond Fund ETF. MBB is designed to track the Barclays Capital U.S. MBS Index, a widely-followed MBS index.

Use the chart function of the selected finance website to get a historical picture of the price changes of mortgage-backed securities as defined by the ETF MBB. Time periods can be selected from one day to five years.

To see the daily prices of individual GNMA and FNMA securities, visit the MBS prices page of the Investing in Bonds website (see the Resources).

Tips

  • The daily pricing of mortgage-backed securities or the ETF will not account for the interest paid by the bonds. Keep an eye on the yield as an additional tracking factor. Agency mortgage-backed securities are an attractive government-backed income investment. Both the bonds and ETF pay interest monthly.

Warnings

  • Mortgage-backed securities, like all bonds, will fall in value if interest rates increase. Understand this concept before investing in any mortgage-backed securities

References

About the Author

Tim Plaehn has been writing financial, investment and trading articles and blogs since 2007. His work has appeared online at Seeking Alpha, Marketwatch.com and various other websites. Plaehn has a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the U.S. Air Force Academy.

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