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The good and mostly bad of rising interest rates

January 31, 2018

When a racoon leaps at you from the back seat, causing you to run your new car into a bridge abutment, people will always point out how lucky you are. Hey, the bridge didn't collapse on you! Good thing you had insurance! Thank goodness the raccoon...

Bridgewater's Dalio says bonds face biggest bear market since '80s

January 24, 2018

Billionaire hedge fund manager Ray Dalio said that the bond market has slipped into a bear phase and warned that a rise in yields could spark the biggest crisis for fixed-income investors in almost 40 years. "A 1% rise in bond yields will produce...

Fintech startup wants to help advisers find and sell muni bonds

January 23, 2018

It's like Zillow, but for bonds. That's the idea behind Bond Navigator, a cloud-based digital marketplace for advisers to find and evaluate municipal bonds, that launched Tuesday from startup 280 CapMarkets. Gurinder Ahluwalia, the co-founder...

Bond investors have more to worry about than a government shutdown

January 19, 2018

Bond yields have marched higher this year, and returns from bond funds have marched lower. Will a government shutdown make things worse? Probably not, provided it's a short-term problem. A bigger worry is a rise in overseas rates, which could...

Bear market for bonds has arrived, Gross says

January 11, 2018

Oprah Winfrey's Golden Globe Awards pronouncement that "Time is up" for men who oppress women also goes for the bond market that's been buoyed by repressed interest rates, according to Bill Gross. "Bonds, like men, are in a bear market," Mr....

2018 outlook in bond investing calls for change

January 6, 2018

The bond market is bracing for change in 2018. With a backdrop of a handful of expected interest-rate hikes from the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, this year could represent the start of the first bear market in bonds since the 1980s. If...

Morgan Stanley slashes junk bond allocation

January 4, 2018

It's too late in this market cycle to bet on high-yield bonds, according to Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. So, the $2 trillion money management arm is completely slashing junk bond allocation. True, tax cuts are expected to inject fresh momentum...

Time to remind clients why they won't beat the Dow this year

December 28, 2017

As 2017 marches into history, most investors will agree: It was a pretty darn good year. But your clients might need to be reminded why they didn't beat the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index. As of Wednesday, the S&P 500 had clocked a 22.2%...

Avoid these bond-buying pitfalls

December 22, 2017

Nearly every day, I see municipal bonds trading on various platforms at higher prices than I've been watching them trade elsewhere. And what bothers me most is that I know that behind those trades are real people for whom the stakes of making...

Brace for steepest rate hikes since 2006 in new year

December 11, 2017

Wall Street economists are telling investors to brace for the biggest tightening of monetary policy in more than a decade. With the world economy heading into its strongest period since 2011, Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. predict average...

Vanguard's Bogle sees pension pain in low bond returns

December 7, 2017

Jack Bogle isn't optimistic about the state of U.S. pensions over the next decade. The founder of Vanguard Group thinks a conservative portfolio of bonds will only return about 3% a year over the next decade, and stocks won't do much better,...

Bank loans or high-yield bonds? Maybe both.

November 28, 2017

Investors searching for income often find it in the below-investment grade credit space. The challenge for advisers becomes, "Where do I put my clients' junk bond dollars to work?" When it comes to investing in below-investment grade credit,...

Bond investors should prepare for string of rate hikes in 2018

November 22, 2017

Yield-starved investors likely will have more to nibble on now through 2018, as the Federal Reserve is widely expected to introduce between four and five interest-rate hikes over the next 13 months. While the bond markets have been treading...

Largest U.S. pension fund may slash exposure to stocks

November 13, 2017

The California Public Employees' Retirement System, the largest U.S. pension fund, is considering more than doubling its bond allocation to reduce risk and volatility as the stock bull market approaches nine years. Calpers is looking at a menu...

Jeffrey Gundlach called it on risky link between stocks and junk bonds

November 10, 2017

Jeffrey Gundlach has been warning something's got to give. Based on the past two days, looks like we have our answer. Stocks fell around the world a second day and high-yield bonds headed for a fourth straight loss, resuming a historic correlation...

The history of bonds — at least since yields hit record lows last year

November 1, 2017

History, as Kurt Vonnegut reminded us, is merely a list of surprises. The next world war will certainly not start with the assassination of an Austro-Hungarian archduke. You're probably not going to make a fortune peddling pet rocks. On the...

Bond allocations: Be real, patient and flexible

October 30, 2017

Bond yields hit their year-to-date lows in early September with the 10-year Treasury yield getting as low as 2.03%. Low yields in the Treasury market are accompanied with historically expensive corporate and municipal bonds. Investors faced...

Why are investors still flocking to bonds?

October 18, 2017

Life is full of mysteries. Why are cats terrified of cucumbers? Why does your phone suggest you need a chain saw? And why have investors been putting so much money into bond funds? The last question is particularly vexing if you hold the notion...

Why your portfolio may have too much equity risk (Hint: It's your bonds)

October 12, 2017

Industry-wide calls for interest rates to rise over the past five years may be inflicting an unintended toll on portfolios: Many are overexposed to equity and equity-like risk, with little to offset it. When the Fed dropped its target short-term...

Hurricanes that ravaged Puerto Rico also wreck its bonds

September 29, 2017

Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated Puerto Rico, and the storms' effects on the islanders will last for years. Far less dire – but still lingering – will be the effect on Puerto Rico's municipal bonds and the mutual funds that hold them....

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