Category Archives: Fixed Income

Yield Curve Anxiety

The slope of the yield curve is a good recession predictor. When the curve is inverted – when the yield on three month T-bills is greater than the yield on the ten year T-Note – a recession is imminent. Similar signals can be seen if the T-bill is replaced by a two- or three-year T-Note Read more […]

Setting Income Goals For A Winning Retirement

“You Keep Livin’, We’ll Keep Payin’” – lottery spokeswoman, Christy Calicchia.  Most people, while they only dream of winning a lottery, understand the concept between a big lump sum payout and an annuity that says something like “either win $1 million today or win $1,000 a week for life.”  Though the concept is clear, and in Read more […]

Leveraged Loans Over High-Yield Bonds

As of July 5, 2018, the S&P/LSTA U.S. Leveraged Loan 100 Index returned 2% YTD, compared with the S&P U.S. High Yield Corporate Bond Index’s return of -0.29%. In 2018, U.S. high-yield performance has experienced two rather sizeable negative returns—back-to-back declines in February (-1.05%) and March (-0.45%)—followed by a turnaround in April (see Exhibit 1). Read more […]

Risk-Adjusted SPIVA® Scorecard: The Evaluation of Active Managers’ Performance Through a Risk Lens

Evaluating active managers’ performance through a risk lens is rooted in modern portfolio theory (MPT), which states that the expectation of returns must be accompanied by risk—the variation (or volatility) around the expected return. MPT assumes that higher risk should be compensated, on average, by higher returns. Institutional investors tend to be interested in risk-adjusted Read more […]

Mexican Currency and Elections

General elections (president, senate, and chamber of deputies) are around the corner. The eyes of every Mexican and many people around the globe are on the Mexico-Brazil match of the World Cup—wait, that is another story. Nobody knows what the outcome of the elections will be. We have seen different events where the polls were Read more […]

Understanding the Asset Class Risk Contribution of the S&P/BMV Mexico Target Risk Indices

The S&P/BMV Mexico Target Risk Index Series comprises four multi-asset class indices that are designed to serve as benchmarks for the Mexican pension system based on the risk tolerance levels of plan participants. Generally, younger individuals with longer time horizons until retirement will have greater risk tolerance and therefore higher exposure to risky assets such Read more […]

A Smarter Way to Rebalance with the BuyWrite Index (BXM)

As advisors begin mid-year rebalancing of client portfolios, they face a dilemma. While investors have enjoyed a 9-year Bull Market—including a 21.14% total return by the S&P 500 in 2017—their investment portfolios have built up more equity risk. Absent rebalancing, a standard 60/40 equity/bond portfolio might now resemble a riskier 75/25 allocation. Given these sizable Read more […]

Monitoring Progress Toward an Income Goal

In a previous blog post, I described some benefits of having an income goal and a method of estimating one’s retirement income liability. I reviewed a hypothetical example to illustrate steps 1-2 from the list of benefits below, and I calculated a net estimated retirement liability (the portion of retirement income one must fund with Read more […]

The Next Frontier in Footprinting: Carbon Accounting for Sovereign Bonds

Sovereign bonds remain largely unanalyzed by investors from a carbon risk and reporting perspective. This is despite clear acknowledgement in the Paris Agreement that governments have a critical role in curtailing global warming,[1] and the Financial Stability Board’s warning that climate change could affect all asset classes and the stability of the broader financial system.[2] Read more […]

Low Inflation isn’t Unusual

Fed watchers and bond holders worry that inflation could spike, tempting the Fed to boost rates much farther than the current half percentage point the market expects in the rest of 2018.  With the Federal Open Market Committee, the central bank’s policy makers, meeting today and tomorrow these concerns are front and center.  This morning’s Read more […]