Preferred Stock Returns 9.61% (TR)

The U.S. preferred stock market is exhibiting the qualities of the hybrid equity / bond like structure they are.  Through May 15th, 2014, the S&P U.S. Preferred Stock Index has recorded a year to date total return of 9.61% mirroring more the bond market than the stock market in this low rate environment.  The index Read more […]

Municipal Bonds Continue Their Climb Out of the Basement

As of mid May 2014, the S&P Municipal Bond Index has returned 5.91% as the supply demand imbalance continues.  New issue supply remains comparatively low to relative to past years and munis have been enjoying a flight to quality halo despite the weaknesses shown by Detroit and Puerto Rico.   The S&P 20 Year High Grade Read more […]

A Review of the S&P Global Intrinsic Value Index

The recently published research paper on S&P GIVI®: Factor Investing: A Review of the S&P Global Intrinsic Value Index analyzes in detail the source of GIVI returns globally and regionally. S&P GIVI is a multi-factor global index which provides exposure to low volatility and the value factors by removing 30% of the highest beta stocks Read more […]

EU Elections – More important than you think?

The coming week will provide Europeans with a chance to vote in the 2014 EU parliament elections. Nationally and internationally, the contest is viewed as somewhat moot; the majority across the EU will most likely not even vote. But whilst voters in the EU elections are not voting for members of the ECB or its president Mario Draghi, Read more […]

Investing and keeping it Simple! Part Two

The ongoing debate around the inadequate financial literacy in this country continues. We often  attribute this to the slow growth of our mutual fund industry, which still have a sea of investors who need to wake up to understanding the benefits of this industry. I ran a quick poll in my personal network of family Read more […]

Alternative Futures: Fund Management and Indexing

In the last two weeks two mainstays of the British and global business press – The Economist and the Financial Times have argued strongly that indexing as an investment approach will overtake active management. The Economist (articles here and here) and the FT in its FTfm  section on fund management (here and here) point to the lower fees typically Read more […]

Will This Week’s Upcoming Economic Signals Dampen the Performance of Longer Maturity Investments?

The week ahead should be a busy one with a number of economic indicators scheduled for this week.  Monday starts with a less relevant number, the Treasuries Federal Budget Summary ($106.9bn actual versus $114bn, expected) leading into the more important April Retail Sales (0.4% expected) which after a revision on last month’s number up to Read more […]

Equity and Credit Markets in Sync?

The companies in the S&P 500 that borrow the most money are enjoying the benefit of a positive credit market.  The cost of buying default protection on the largest bond market borrowers in the S&P 500 is tracked by the S&P/ISDA U.S. 150 Credit Spread Index and has fallen to lows which can be an Read more […]

Sectors: A tale of American Culture

The makeup of the S&P 500 reflects the U.S. overall big-cap public market, and while it’s relevance to investing is well known, it is also a reflection on the changes in U.S. culture. Last December Facebook was added to the S&P 500, signaling the importance of social media. The prior month J.C. Penney was removed, Read more […]

Long and Short of It: Munis Outshine Equities in 2014 as Demand Holds

Demand for munis continues to outpace supply and the result is the muni market is reflecting strength from the five year maturity range on out.  On the shorter end of the curve, five year non-callable municipal bonds tracked in the S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series 2019 Index have returned 2.19% just about where the S&P 500 Read more […]