Reading between the lines of China’s “Twin sessions”

China’s National People’s Congress, the annual plenary session of China’s legislature, is done and dusted. No major policy upheaval ahead the 19th Party Congress in November. Nonetheless, the shift in tone in the government work report have shed some light on China’s policy direction. 1. Tone shifted from “maintaining growth” to “containing risk” The theme Read more […]

Rieger Report: Why foreign investors like U.S. municipal bonds

A trend that has been catching attention is purchases of U.S. municipal bonds by foreign investors.  A terrific summary was recently published by VanEck’s Michael Cohick and that can be found by clicking here. As that research points out, the Federal Reserve data on foreign investor holdings has jumped to end 2016 at $106 billion.  That Read more […]

Rising Rates Arrive

Which of the figures below belong together?   It’s obvious, even if analogies aren’t your strong suit, that A is like C and B is like D.  A and C are not like B and D. The economic relevance of this simple visual exercise is this: At its March 2017 meeting, the Federal Open Market Read more […]

S&P 500 Buy-Write Strategies: How Much Income Should You Expect?

Buy-write strategies, also known as covered calls, are a staple offering for income-seeking market participants who sell, or “write,” call options against shares of assets they already own in order to generate income from the option premium.  However, the option seller forfeits the upside potential of the asset and is obligated to sell the asset Read more […]

Tracking the Effect of Demonetization on Capital Markets in India

November 9, 2016, was the day when the world witnessed two big unexpected events—one was Mr. Donald Trump winning the U.S. presidential election, and the second was the Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi announcing that 500 and 1,000 rupee notes would no longer be considered legal tenders.  Both of these events were expected to Read more […]

Asia Fixed Income: From Implicit Guarantees to Bond Defaults

Chinese authorities will allow market participants to buy onshore bonds through transactions carried out in Hong Kong, which will further broaden foreign access to China’s onshore bond market. While no additional details have been provided, a “bond connect” scheme that provides cross-border cash bond trading is anticipated by market participants. Despite currency volatilities, China bonds Read more […]

No News, and No Implications

This morning’s Wall Street Journal reported, rather breathlessly, that “U.S. bond yields are topping a key measure of the dividends that large U.S. companies pay—a shift that has broad implications for investors….”  The headline was triggered by the observation that the 2.50% “yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note…exceeded the 1.91% dividend yield on the Read more […]

Drawdown Analysis of Low Volatility Indices

One of the objectives of low volatility strategies is to provide higher risk-adjusted returns than their respective benchmarks over the long run, primarily by reducing drawdowns during market downturns.  In the U.S. market, both the S&P 500® Low Volatility Index and the S&P 500 Minimum Volatility Index have shown outperformance over the S&P 500, not Read more […]

Why Companies and Investors Need to Value Water Differently

March 22, 2017, is World Water Day, the U.N.’s annual bid to raise awareness about the water crisis.  Climate change, pollution, and overconsumption are making fresh water an increasingly scarce resource.  Worldwide, 663 million people currently have no access to clean water.  By 2030, it is predicted that there will be a 40% shortfall in Read more […]

Next Generation Retirement Investing

For many plan participants, the goal of a retirement account is to provide a steady stream of income that will sustain their standard of living in retirement. Therefore, participants need a framework that aligns the management of their savings with their retirement income goal. This framework has three related components: Risk management that addresses the Read more […]