What the Fed’s New Policy Means For Bond Investors

The Fed Balance Sheet

Last week the Federal Reserve, made a very unusual announcement. It declared that it would could keep interest rates low as long as unemployment was above 6.5% and inflation was below 2.5%. As of the end of November 2012, the unemployment rates … [Read more...]

Why are Bill Gross’s Number 1 Picks not Part of His Total Return Fund?

Bill Gross Investment Ideas

What are Bill Gross’s Best Investment Ideas? Picks Commodities like Oil and Gold U.S. Inflation-Protected Bonds High-Quality Municipal Bonds Non-Dollar Emerging-Market Stocks Pans Long-Dated Developed-Country Bonds in the U.S., … [Read more...]

Free Special Report: Post-Election Puerto Rico – Systemic Risk Or High Yield Opportunity?

puerto rico municipal bonds

Introductory Comments by Marc Joffe Axios Advisors released an in-depth report on Puerto Rico bonds today, and it is should be required reading for anyone with exposure to the Commonwealth’s debt. As the Axios report shows, Puerto Rico’s debt … [Read more...]

Best Bond Funds for 2013 and Beyond

Best Bond Funds for 2013

One of our primary goals here at Learn Bonds is to make the process of choosing a bond fund easy.  With this goal in mind we launched our free bond fund rating reports, called LB Ratings, earlier this year.  While we put our stamp of approval on all … [Read more...]

What Bond Fund Flows Tell us About Municipal Bonds

municipal bond fund flows

I was researching bond mutual fund flows earlier this week, and I came across a nice time series from the Investment Company Institute.  It breaks out monthly municipal bond fund flows going back to 2007. What is mutual fund flow data? Flow data … [Read more...]

How the Size and Composition of the Bond Market Has Changed Since 1980

bond market size

Since 1980, the size of the US bond market has increase by 15 times, in terms of the outstanding debt by par value. In terms of the market value of the debt, the number is likely even higher. US Bond Market Size 1980 - $2.54 Trillion 1990 - … [Read more...]

Are municipalities gambling with taxpayer money or being smart?

interest rate swaps

A recent article by Bloomberg, “Rigged Libor Hit States-Localities With $6 Billion” made it sound like Municipalities made bad financial bets. Municipalities bought around $500 billion of interest rate swaps prior to the beginning of the financial … [Read more...]

The Effect of ETFs on Individual Bonds

The Financial Lexicon

The recent LearnBonds article, “Should You Avoid Buying Bonds in LQD? Or Maybe LQD?” brought to readers’ attention a fascinating article by Matt Levine of Dealbreaker, which discussed the idea that bonds underlying ETFs react more dramatically to … [Read more...]

Investment Ideas From PIMCO: Buy TIPS, Municipal Bonds & High Quality Financials

bill-gross-of-pimco

Bonds would be burned to a crisp and stocks would certainly be singed; only gold and real assets would thrive within the “Ring of Fire.” - Bill Gross, “Damages” October 2012 The quote above is slightly out of context. Bill Gross is discussing … [Read more...]

State Credit Enhancement Programs – What they are and How they Work

university

A state credit enhancement program is when a state creates some mechanism to ensure that local governments or school systems pay their bonds.  Its not bond insurance.  There are at least 34 states that have these programs.  They have these programs … [Read more...]

Municipal Bond Watch: Illinois & Pennsylvania Being Dragged Down By Pension Problems

standard and poors building

Learn Bonds has just updated our State General Obligation ratings table. In the process, we took the opportunity to review the recent rating changes by two largest municipal raters, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. For the most part, the two … [Read more...]

10 Lessons I learned from the Book Abnormal Returns by Tadas Viskanta

Abnormal Returns Book

I just finished reading Abnormal Returns, Winning Strategies from the Frontlines of the Investment Blogosphere by Tadas Viskanta.  Tadas is best known for his twice daily list of finance links from around the web, which he publishes via … [Read more...]