The Fed Views a Stronger Economy, Preferred and Investment Grade Corporate Bond Indices Going Strong

Yields on the 10-year Treasury continued lower last week as measured by the S&P/BGCantor Current 10 Year U.S. Treasury Index.  Friday’s 2.59% is one basis point off from this year’s low of 2.58% of February 3rd.  The index recorded a 2.59% in spite of the fact that the April U.S. Unemployment rate reached a low Read more […]

Floating Rate Asset Classes

In the weekend Wall Street Journal (May 3, 2014) there is an informative article entitled “The Risks of Floating Rate Funds”.  The article does a great job of delving into the risks of these types of structures and is quite timely as the low rate environment continues. The investor appetite for floating rate assets while facing Read more […]

U.S. Municipal Bonds: What a Difference a Year Makes!

Data as of May 1, 2014 2013 was a not a fun year for municipal bond investors with bond prices and returns being pushed down by events in Detroit and Puerto Rico. 2014 is a different story, demand has shifted back to municipals as the S&P Municipal Bond Index has recorded a 4.91% total return, Read more […]

The Fed and GDP

On Wednesday morning the US Bureau of Economic Analysis reported disappointing numbers for first quarter GDP with real growth a scant 0.1% at annual rates – essentially zero.  The same day the Fed reported on its two day policy meeting stating that the economy continues to improve and, as a result, the reductions in quantitative Read more […]

Another Fuel In The Fire: The Base Case

Finally, in April, commodities got hot enough to turn around even the base metals (also known as the industrial metals,) up 1.8% for the month. Although this comeback is not driven by the main supply shocks we are experiencing in energy and agriculture, it is fundamental in nature.  China’s State Reserves Bureau (SRB) is now buying copper Read more […]

Is Gold A Good Hedge For Your Home?

Gold, traditionally, has been perceived as a safe haven that investors flock to during periods of uncertainty and high inflation. The question we are interested in examining is whether or not the safe-haven argument holds true for protecting against homes’ falling prices. Home prices are generally considered a leading economic indicator since a drop in Read more […]

A Comparison of Two Corporate Bond Markets

The possibility of interest rates remaining low means investors will continue to search for yield while also looking to diversify market exposures.  Below we offer a snapshot of two corporate bond landscapes: the U.S. corporate bond market and the Chinese corporate bond market, which has expanded rapidly in recent years. Size Tracked by the S&P Read more […]

Corporate Bond Funds: Weighing performance scenarios

Investors are taught to diversify their portfolio by investing in several different asset classes with different risks and exposures.  In today’s low rate environment, the investment grade corporate bond market in the US and abroad offers a way to pick up additional yield and diversification, while maintaining a relatively low level of risk.  I weighed Read more […]

Applying a Laddering Strategy to Preferred Portfolios in Canada

A laddered preferred portfolio uses the same concept as bond laddering, where a portfolio is constructed with instruments of staggering maturities so that a fixed portion of the portfolio matures each year. Rate-reset preferreds are used in a portfolio laddering strategy since they incorporate a reset date every five years. On the reset date, which Read more […]

Volatility, ya right

The market was up 0.7% this morning, and down 0.7% in early afternoon trading, and is currently trending up from the red. So I keep hearing that volatility has returned to the market. Maybe, if you just started trading. Daily volatility, as measured by the daily high price divided by the low price, has increased Read more […]