The north star of active bond management is simple: avoid losing money. Over the last eighteen months, that proved quite easy to accomplish. In the period since credit spreads hit their pandemic-highs, outperforming has proved reasonably straightforward as long as investors stayed overweight the market. Unprecedented central bank and fiscal support has driven a swift bounce back in economic activity that has resulted in positive returns for credit market investors (and investors in risk assets of almost every stripe). But as the Fed looks to withdraw monetary accommodation, and fears about inflation, record debt levels and uneven and unstable recoveries intensify, investors could be forgiven for thinking that the outlook will be much more challenging in the year ahead.