Ivan Illán is an award-winning financial services entrepreneur and bestselling author. On December 31, 1996, the U.S. junk bond market (formally, B-rated high-yield corporate debt) had an effective yield of 10.01%. (Note: The historical data in this article was sourced using a professional YCharts subscription.) Fast forward to October 1, 2021, the same B-rated bonds offered a 4.65% yield — 536 basis points lower. Over the past 25 years, the U.S. has experienced three economic recessions (’00-’01, ’07-’09 and ’20), while yields on these below investment-grade bonds have fluctuated from a peak of 23.07% in Q4 2008 to a low of 4.36% in Q4 2019. Their average yield over this period has been 8.58%. With such breadth of yields across various economic conditions, for how long should investors expect high-yield debt to stay at these well-below average levels? Perhaps, it’s likely that yield mean reversion will play out in this market, as risk perception evolves.