Two Moderately-Aggressive Asset Allocations For Income-Focused Investors

asset allocation

In last week’s article, “A Conservative Asset Allocation For Income-Focused Investors,” I noted that the process of managing cash flows starts with the following calculations: 1. Calculate the annual amount of money you need to live. 2. Subtract … [Read more...]

Are You Missing Out On Municipal Bond Market Value?

municipal-bond-1

A lot of people I have talked with recently are suggesting that if an investor is looking for more (after tax) yield these days that it might be a good idea to look at the bonds issued by state and local governments. States, cities, counties … [Read more...]

A Closer Look at Zero-Coupon Bonds

zero coupon bonds

It has been a long time since I searched the inventory of available zero-coupon bonds. But given the dearth of investment articles on zero-coupon bond opportunities, I thought I’d write a bit about what I discovered when recently searching for … [Read more...]

Muni Bonds: A Case Study of Detroit’s Fiasco

detroit

My biggest concern with folks who buy muni bonds is that they don’t do the proper due diligence on a given municipality. It’s very easy to just assume that if a municipality or a city is big enough, there’s simply no chance of default. Given that … [Read more...]

How Will the Affordable Care Act Impact Municipal Bonds?

Dollar

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, is unlikely to have much impact on the municipal bond market, and the ultimate impact may take years to discern. There are two primary ways the ACA may affect municipal bonds: 1) via direct … [Read more...]

Don’t Get Ripped Off by This Bond Market Shenanigan

Bond Market Schemes

In his book, The Big Short, Michael Lewis describes in the following way how Danny, the head trader for Steve Eisman, approached trades that seemed perfect. “When a Wall Street firm helped him to get into a trade that seemed perfect in every way, … [Read more...]

How to Find Opportunities in the Municipal Bond Market

Acropolis

Municipal bonds are interesting right now after the ‘taper tantrum’ that started at the beginning of May when the Federal Reserve telegraphed its intent to taper off their bond buying program known as quantitative easing. Actually, all bonds are a … [Read more...]

What Tax Rate Is Applicable to Your Investment Decision?

tax-rate

There is disagreement as to which income tax rate should be applied when deciding whether to purchase, for instance, a municipal bond or a corporate bond. Some people say that you should use the tax rate for your last dollar of taxable income―the … [Read more...]

Q2 in Review – A Tale of the Bipolar Bond Market

bonds

Dictionary.com defines “bipolar” as “characterized by opposite extremes.” In searching for a word to describe the bond market’s behavior during the second quarter of 2013, bipolar seems rather appropriate. In terms of yields, the 30-year U.S. … [Read more...]

Who got hurt the most by the rise in yields?

high yield curve

Over the last month, the yield on 10 year US Treasury has risen from 2.02% to 2.53%, or roughly 25%. The rise in rates has not been triggered by any particular incident,but a general sense that the US Federal Reserve will need to start cutting back … [Read more...]

HYD: Here’s How To Calculate Your True Taxable-Equivalent Yield

balancing-stones

In Monday’s article, “HYD: A Rare Opportunity In This Municipal Bond ETF,” I noted the significant discount to its net asset value at which HYD was trading, and I outlined several key features of the fund. On Monday morning, the discount to NAV … [Read more...]

Municipal Moment

Municipal Bonds

After a difficult month of May, municipal bond investors are now faced with what has historically been a difficult start to June. On a positive note, the start of summer in late June typically ushers in one of the more attractive times of the year to … [Read more...]