Category Archives: Fixed Income

Using Credit Ratios to Build Defensive Corporate Bond Portfolios

For corporate bond managers, credit analysis is a key step in the investment process, one that lays the foundation for their credit outlook and investment strategies. Credit analysis assesses bond issuers’ creditworthiness and evaluates their ability to make timely interest and principal payments. Credit analysis is critical in helping bond managers assess the state of Read more […]

Uncertainty’s Curse on Confidence

With the dust still settling after the unexpected result of Australia’s recent federal election on May 18, 2019, which resulted in a third 3-year term for the incumbent Liberal-National Party coalition, the Australian government has quickly turned its attention to a slowing in the Australian economy. While the uncertainty over franking credit refunds and negative Read more […]

MMT or Why Budget Deficits are Ok If They Don’t Grow Too Fast

Economics used to be Political Economy. Today politics in encouraging economics to look at different ideas such as Modern Monetary Theory. MMT argues that a country which borrows in its own currency will never default: as long as the US sells bonds denominated in US dollars, it won’t matter how big the federal budget deficit Read more […]

Increasing Share of BBB-Rated Bonds and Changing Credit Fundamentals in the Investment-Grade Corporate Bond Market

Since the 2008/2009 financial crisis, BBB-rated bonds have seen significant growth in the U.S. Today, they constitute more than half of the U.S. investment-grade bond market. The increasing share of BBB-rated bonds has dragged the S&P U.S. Investment Grade Corporate Bond Index average credit rating lower, and is accompanied with higher leverage of BBB-rated bond Read more […]

How to Stop Worrying about Inflation

Inflation in the US averaged 1.5% annually for the last five years with a peak of 2.9%. Despite today’s low and stable inflation numbers, anxiety that the price level will leap up is driving a search for the reasons it seems low. Today’s inflation is a bit lower than the average since 1914 of 3.2% Read more […]

Replacing LIBOR

LIBOR – the London Interbank Offered Rate — is the benchmark for over $300 trillion of loans, derivatives and other financial instruments.  LIBOR started in the syndicated loan market of the 1960s; today it is quoted in different currencies and maturities. Following scandals in 2012-2013, LIBOR is being replaced and will disappear in 2021. For Read more […]

Market Conditions Favored Government Bond Funds in Second Half of 2018

The SPIVA® U.S. Year-End 2018 Scorecard shows a reversal of the relative short-term performance of fixed income funds at the end of 2018 from six months prior. Combined with the interest rates move, this might shed some light on understanding the duration positioning of active funds. We focus on government bond funds for our analysis, Read more […]

2018 SPIVA® Scorecard: Volatility Does Not Help Active Performance

Contrary to the myth that active managers tend to fare better than their benchmarks during volatile markets, 68.83% of domestic equity funds lagged the S&P Composite 1500® during the one-year period ending Dec. 31, 2018, making 2018 the fourth-worst year for active U.S. equity managers since 2001 (see Exhibit 1). Evidence from the SPIVA U.S. Read more […]

Sea Change at the Fed

Today’s Fed announcement keeping the Fed funds target range at 2.25% to 2.5% was more than simply leaving rates unchanged for the moment. Behind the headlines are changes in their expectations for inflation and the economy and adjustments in their operating procedures: The FOMC will be patient as it determines what future adjustments to the Read more […]

2018 Retirement Funding Update for DC Account Holders

2018 produced negative absolute returns across a number of asset classes, particularly international stocks. A broad benchmark of stocks traded outside of the U.S., the S&P Global ex-U.S. BMI (US Dollar) Gross Total Return Index, lost 14.18% of its value. Nevertheless, many investments kept pace with the change in cost of securing future retirement income, Read more […]