Dividends: Love’m or Leave’m

Now that the short-term speculators have left the dividend market, core investors can get back to their boring stocks, collecting their tax advantaged yield (you may not like the increase to 20% from 15%, but I remember when it was 70%, and that was before New York State, City or unincorporated business tax got hold of Read more […]

Who Dun it?

Beginning in May and then aggressively following Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s June 19th press conference interest rates rose.  The yield on the 10 year treasury both led the way and spooked the markets world-wide.  Analysts raised the specter of an early end to QE3, cited Bernanke’s comments and hinted that the central bank was about Read more […]

A Conventional Down Month

Whenever you want to argue that rising interest rates are bad for the stock market, count June 2013 as a point in your favor.  The long end of the US Treasury yield curve notched a -4.07% decline in June (following May’s -6.71% tumble), as rates on the S&P/BGCantor 20+ Year US Treasury Index rose by 66 Read more […]

Only a Few Hours Left, but June’s Returns Have Not Been Seen Since 2008

U.S. Treasury Bonds: There are just a few hours of trading left to the month of June, but on the whole the month took its toll on fixed income products.  Treasuries, as measured by the S&P/BGCantor U.S. Treasury Bond Index, are down -0.91% for the month.  Year-to-date this index is returning -1.55%.  Yields are up Read more […]

Remembering the Great Bond Rally

The markets and the pundits are calling for an upturn in interest rates and announcing the end of the Great Bond Rally. Rather than lamenting the end of low interest artes, it is worth looking back at how we got here to consider the prospects going forward. The bond rally goes back decades to inflation Read more […]

Stanley Cup Index: What happened to the holy grail?

Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks on their awesome win last night! I must admit I was very excited watching the most amazing finish I have ever seen in hockey, but as a commodity lady my first thought was about the metal in the Stanley Cup and what is it worth, especially given the current environment of Read more […]

Muni Bonds Suffering in June; Worst Month Since September 2008

Investment grade municipal bonds tracked in the S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Index have seen a negative total return of 4.97%  in June so far, the worst month since September 2008 when the index was down 5.13%.  The yield (Yield to worst) on bonds in the index has risen by 95bps since the end of Read more […]

“Hello Passive, goodbye active”

The title is in quotes because it comes from FTFM, a supplement to the Financial Times reporting recent developments in the long running debat about active vs passive investing. The SPIVA reports published by S&P Dow Jones Indices  show that actively managed mutual funds under-perform their index benchmarks more often than not.  For a long time this Read more […]

Damage Control

Compared to a month ago, every major developed equity market is down, some by double digits while bond yields have climbed over the same period.  The U.S. markets – both stocks and bonds — are among the least damaged.  For investors the questions are when will it end?, where can one hide? and why? When Read more […]

Volatility: Love It or Leave It

Investors are rightly concerned about the future course of equity prices, especially in the context of the Federal Reserve’s bruited tapering of QE3, and it’s obviously true that equity market volatility has increased sharply since the beginning of May. Rising volatility typically means lower stock prices — the correlation of the S&P 500 and the Read more […]