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SEC slaps Schwab with warning over bond funds

October 18, 2009

The Securities and Exchange Commission's warning to The Charles Schwab Corp. that it could face civil charges over two fixed-income mutual funds may have a direct effect on current and looming legal actions from investors over losses suffered...

Payden & Rygel's bond chief, Kristin Ceva: Emerging-markets debt still rife with opportunities

October 15, 2009

With the stock market rallying for nearly eight months, it might be easy to overlook the opportunities in the credit markets, according to Kristin Ceva, head of global fixed-income investing at Payden & Rygel. “From a fixed-income point of...

Bond issuance a debtor's prison

October 11, 2009

It has gotten easier for corporations to issue bonds, but it is still mighty expensive for companies with outstanding debt that don't have a great credit rating. High-risk premiums on bonds, especially within the speculative-grade universe,...

High-yield bonds attract flows

October 11, 2009

High-yield bonds have given stocks a run for investors' money this year, and a tepid U.S. economic recovery could keep institutional money flowing to that corner of the credit market, according to some market watchers. Even with the Merrill...

Muni ETFs gain popularity, but are they a good fit?

October 4, 2009

Exchange-traded funds that invest in municipal bonds are gaining in popularity, but some industry watchers think that mutual funds are a better option. The ETF structure just isn't a good fit for the muni market, they said. It can lead to pricing...

Promises, promises: Finra probes B-Ds' retail muni sales practices

September 27, 2009

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. is investigating whether broker-dealers are meeting their obligations to municipal-bond issuers who seek distribution to retail investors. The probe, which so far hasn't been raised to the level...

Ratings agencies under fire over residential-mortgage-backed securities

September 27, 2009

National ratings agencies re-ceived criticism Thursday at a meeting of the insurance industry for their failure to properly rate residential mortgage-backed securities prior to the crisis. As part of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners'...

Freestyle analyst

September 20, 2009

Being an investment research analyst during one of the most historic economic downturns can be stressful. But having faced the physical and mental challenges of open-ocean swimming, 29-year-old Jeffrey Cleveland says he can keep things in perspective....

Heavy government borrowing, inflationary policies to cut bond prices

September 6, 2009

The three-decade overall bull market in bonds is dead — and though there are opportunities in some corporate and emerging-markets bonds, the easy money has been made. Market watchers are warning that investors who seek safety in Treasuries...

Emerging-markets bonds will outperform other fixed-income categories, experts predict

September 6, 2009

If the bull market in bonds is coming to an end, emerging markets may be one place where fixed-income investors can take refuge. Year-to-date through last Wednes-day, mutual funds that invest in emerging-markets bonds were up an average of 23.47%,...

Scared investors flock to TIPS as inflation hedge

August 23, 2009

Inflation fears and attractive returns are driving demand for Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities. Year-to-date through July 31, the Department of the Treasury sold $548 billion of TIPS, compared with sales of $516 billion in the first seven...

Muni analysts want more issuer disclosure

July 26, 2009

The recently issued SEC proposal to expand issuer disclosure in the $2.7 trillion municipal-securities market doesn't go far enough, say muni-bond analysts and the mutual fund industry. Although the Securities and Exchange Commission would extend...

FundQuest adds alternatives to SMA platform

July 22, 2009

FundQuest Inc. of Boston has expanded the offerings on its managed-accounts platform to include select alternative strategies. FundQuest is now providing access to hedge-style mutual funds, commodities and international bonds, in addition to...

All-bond allocation unwise despite equity jitters, says Ibbotson

July 22, 2009

Despite the superior performance of fixed-income assets recently, an all-bond asset allocation is unlikely to deliver investors the returns they need in the future, according to analysis released by Ibbotson Associates, the research division...

Municipal bonds thrive despite states' deep economic woes

July 19, 2009

Although state and local governments across the country face staggering budget deficits, their struggles are having little effect on municipal-bond prices. “Since the [second] quarter began, prices are definitely higher,” said Matt Fabian,...

Battered equity boutiques broaden focus to bonds

June 28, 2009

Some well-known equity boutiques have begun offering bond strategies this year, diversifying their portfolios after the market collapse focused attention on the ability of money management companies to cope with severe downturns. In the past...

Two new munis and a swaps recap

June 28, 2009

Through the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the government has created Build America Bonds. These are vehicles through which the federal government subsidizes municipal issues so that issuers can offer investors higher...

MSRB readies new muni disclosure system

June 28, 2009

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board's revamped municipal-bond disclosure system, set to go live next month, won't be quite the panacea for disclosure that regulators hope, according to some observers. Once it is operational, the Alexandria,...

Bond market's rally warrants skepticism

June 21, 2009

Investors have responded enthusiastically in recent months to government stimulus plans and signs of renewed economic activity, triggering a resounding risk rally. Since March 9, the U.S. stock and corporate-high-yield-bond markets have enjoyed...

Federal backing could mean more buyers and lower interest rates

June 21, 2009

The federal government is the only potential guarantor whose backing would significantly lower local borrowing costs. Private bond insurers, and other private parties who might provide assurance to investors in new issues, lack financial strength...

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