After spending most of 2012 in a defensive crouch, cowed by past crises and on guard against any future ones, more investors seem willing to take risks in 2013 in hopes of a greater reward, money managers say.

Average yields on high-yield corporate bonds, also known as "junk" bonds, were hovering above 6 percent, well above the 1.7 percent available from 10-year Treasuries.

Mortgage-related securities were also likely to be in high demand thanks to the Federal Reserve, which has committed to buying $40 billion of mortgage bonds each month to lower long-term interest rates, boost housing and help the broader economy.