Rieger Report: Mismatch – State Pension Short Falls & Muni Bond Market Returns

S&P Global Ratings released a report on September 12th 2016 U.S. State Pensions: Weak Market Returns Will Contribute to Rise in Expense.  Importantly, the report identified the five worst and best funded state pensions.  You might think that an underfunded pension liability would mean the market would avoiding the municipal bonds issued by or within those Read more […]

Consistency: What Rolling Returns Say About Dividend Aristocrats

Historically, three-year rolling returns have revealed consistent outperformance from the S&P 500® Dividend Aristocrats® Index, which is composed of quality companies with at least 25 consecutive years of dividend growth. Why look at rolling returns? Rolling returns offer a more robust way to show performance than traditional one-, three-, five- and ten-year trailing returns. Rolling Read more […]

When Smart Beta Fails

How should an investor in a factor (or “smart beta”) index judge its performance?  In this respect at least, smart beta is like any other strategy: you should evaluate it against the claims that its vendors made before you bought it. This requires some subtlety.  Smart beta methodologies pick stocks based on fundamental or technical Read more […]

Gold & Silver: Fed Rate Hike Vs Mine Supply

Two factors tend to consistently influence gold and silver — interest rate expectations and mining supply.  Changes in interest rate expectations typically exert a short-term, day-to-day influence that is exogenous to the metals market while mining supply has a long-term, year-to-year influence that is endogenous. Precious metals prices seem to exert little to no influence Read more […]

Rising Rates Revisited…

The prospect for and ramifications of rising interest rates have surfaced time and again in recent years. Whether and when the Fed will raise rates next is anyone’s guess. But as we’ve noted before, the correlation between higher interest rates and equity declines has grown tenuous in recent history.  Since 1991, the S&P 500 has Read more […]

Gaining Insight Into New Zealand’s Dividends

Why a New Zealand Dividend Strategy Now? New Zealand companies pay out more profits as dividends than many other countries in the world, with an aggregate distribution of 84% of earnings in 2015, much higher than the 48% in the U.S. and 54% globally (see Exhibit 1). One primary reason for this high payout ratio Read more […]

The Fed: No Change In Rates Amidst Puzzling Policies

Questions and some answers on issues facing, or created at, the Fed Raise Rates? Not very likely next week at the September 21st FOMC meeting.  Recent data including August jobs report, declines in Industrial Production and Retail Sales and comments from FOMC members argue against a move now.  The November 2nd meeting is just days Read more […]

Fallen Oil Might Now Be Spilling Into Every Stock Sector

Something unusual happened in August in commodities where energy was the only sector that rose.  Despite the negative non-energy performance, supply shocks created pockets of opportunity for some individual commodities within industrial metals and agriculture. Now, oil has turned negative again from record high inventories despite U.S. production cuts, because OPEC producers have more than filled the gap Read more […]

The Hunt for Consistent Income

The hunt for stable income is an increasingly challenging task.  Bond yields across major fixed income markets are at historically low levels, with some of the central banks in developed countries even going as far as adopting a negative rates policy.  Together with an aging population that is living longer and relies predominantly on fixed Read more […]

Dividend Volatility and Correlations

Equity markets are notoriously volatile, at least when compared to fixed income. Dividend payments, by contrast, while not fixed like many bond coupons, offer  market participants a much less volatile and more fixed income-like risk and return profile.  For the 25 years from 1990 to 2015, the annual variation in S&P 500® dividend points has Read more […]