BOND A Successful Failure…Don’t Hate All Bonds…High-Yield-Bond vs. Dividend ETFs… and more!

Research Puzzle: – A look back at a year in the life of the Pimco Total Return ETF. – The PIMCO Total Return ETF (BOND) was launched just over a year ago, if you look at the performance since inception, it has swamped the massive flagship PIMCO fund (PTTAX) that it was expected to mirror. So is BOND a clone of PTTAX? Tom Brakke thinks not.

Forbes: – Don’t hate all bonds, buy yield to call paper. – Never in my 34 year bond career have I heard such vile, vitriolic hatred and fear of bonds. I understand the multiple explanations, yet nothing has happened.

ETF Trends: – High-yield bond vs. Dividend ETFs. – Investors are turning to junk bond and dividend ETFs for income in a low-rate environment. High-yield ETFs invest in bonds, while dividend funds target the stock market, so the two groups can perform differently. Which is best for you?

Learn Bonds: – Europe’s new bailout template should scare investors. – The most recent terms of the Cyprus bailout were announced in the wee hours of Monday morning while most Europeans were sleeping. So why should you be worried about the terms of this agreement?

Tim Ayles: – With Treasuries, It’s not about the interest rate. – Owning Treasuries is not just about the interest rate. Avoiding them solely on the basis they are not paying enough for the next 30 years based on their current low interest rates is missing their true benefit to a portfolio. The main reason you should consider buying them today is they are the only investment that will pay you for the next 25+ years to reduce the volatility in your overall portfolio value. Everything else is just a sideshow.

Barron’s: – Munis find their footing, but more weakness ahead? – Muni bonds have righted themselves in the past week after falling through early March, which is typically their worst month of the year. A lot of analysts are expecting things to likely take another turn for the worse before they start to improve.

Bloomberg: – US 10-Year yield falls from one-week high as confidence sags. – Treasury 10-year note yields dropped from almost a one-week high as U.S. consumer confidence and new-home sales fell more than forecast.

Bloomberg: – Record Build America Bonds rally defies subsidy cut. – The $188 billion Build America Bond market is extending a record rally as investors bet that municipal issuers repairing their finances can withstand reduced federal subsidies on the debt.

ETF Daily News: – ETF creator launches the iShares 2018 S&P AMT-free municipal series (MUAG). – The new ETF looks to track S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series 2018 Index. The index measures the performance of the U.S. municipal bonds maturing in 2018 and comprises 1400 securities. The bonds must have a minimum par amount of at least $2 million. – A Bond fund with stock-like returns… and risk. – Investors who are looking for a vehicle to take advantage of short-term movements in the bond market need look no further than the PIMCO 25+ Year Zero Coupon US Treasury Index ETF (ticker:ZROZ). The fund invests in long-term zero-coupon US Treasuries, which are one of the most rate-sensitive areas of the market. As such, long-term, zero-coupon bonds tend to be extremely volatile.

Cate Long: – As Sacramento drowns, it finds money for a new stadium. – I keep reading stories about cities doing convoluted tax deals and giving away hundreds of millions of dollars to keep sports teams from moving away. This strikes me as odd – communities giving away precious resources to millionaire sports team owners while they can’t balance their budgets. Sacramento might win the award for fiscal battiness this year.

Opposing views: – How do rising interest rates affect bonds & treasuries? – The relationship between bond values and interest rates is core knowledge for an investor in bonds, Treasury securities or even bond mutual funds. Treasuries are one type of bonds and are the simplest in function. If you know how Treasury securities will react to rising interest rates, you understand the effects on the rest of the bond market.

Reuters: – California watches as small city goes after Calpers. – Officials of a tiny California city say they believe overbilling by state pension system Calpers has pushed up municipal debt to unsustainable levels, and they have hired a bankruptcy attorney to explore ways to lower payments to the system.

Reuters: – DoubleLine to launch first stock mutual fund on April 1. –  DoubleLine Capital LP, the investment firm run by star bond manager Jeffrey Gundlach, will open its first stock mutual fund to investors on April 1, the firm said on Tuesday.

Barron’s:  – Muni tax-season slump could extend into May. – I’ve written lately about the seasonal weakness the muni market has experienced this month, which at least partially fits with historic performance patterns during the month of March. I’d also written how some readers had questioned one factor routinely blamed for the market’s malaise.

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