Getting What You Pay For

Today’s Wall Street Journal, among others, reported on a recent study by the Maryland Public Policy Institute arguing that the public pension funds which pay the highest fees haven’t reaped the highest investment returns.  In fact, the study shows, it’s just the opposite — for the 5 years ended June 2012, the 10 states which Read more […]

June 2013: What’s Hot and What’s Not

Read about some commodity highlights in June from an interview with Courtney Nebons, our studio producer.  Click here to watch the video. Q1.  This month we heard a lot about the Fed easing its monetary policy, so how did that impact commodities? Commodities reacted negatively to the news that the Fed may ease its bond Read more […]

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 […]