#1 Lower Your Average Fixed-Income Duration
You have probably heard the call to lower the average duration of your fixed-income holdings for some time now, but many investors are still finding themselves in the upper end of the yield curve. That makes your portfolio more sensitive to fluctuations in interest rates which could prove to be a mistake if we see rates move higher this year.
One alternative ETF that you may want to consider is the Vanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond Fund (VCSH) which invests in a portfolio of 1-3 year duration investment-grade fixed-income. This ETF has been steadily rising over the last six months and will be less sensitive to changes in interest rates than a similar fund with higher average duration.
Another strategy to consider is moving to an actively managed mutual fund that is focused on interest rate risk and had success navigating those waters last year.