Best Bond Funds….Listen to Your Female Analysts….Hoarding Emerging Market Bonds…and more!

Learn Bonds: – Best bond funds for 2013 and beyond.  One of our primary goals here at Learn Bonds is to make the process of choosing a bond fund easy.  With this 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 the funds we rate 4 and 5 stars, we do have our favorites from each category.  Here are our top picks for the best bond funds for 2013 and beyond.

Cate Long: Women analysts dominate Muniland - Over 2,700 votes were cast by institutional investors to identify the best muniland analysts from the buyside, sellside and credit rating agencies at Smith’s Municipal All-Star Program this week. Analysts from every side of the business were represented among the winners. But the majority of top awards went to women or teams led by women. Women dominate analytical muniland.

Barron’s: – Yield-Starved investors hoarding EM bonds. – As a sign of how income investors are clinging to anything offering a hint of yield, trade volumes for emerging-market bonds hit a three-year low in the third quarter. Trading in EM bonds fell 26% from the same period a year ago despite a 50% jump in the amount of new bonds issued this year versus last year.

FT Adviser: – M&G’s Woolnough denies bond market liquidity concerns. – Star bond manager speaks out after months of debate over fixed income trading conditions.

NASDAQ: – High-Grade Corporate Bond Issuance Hits $1 Trillion in 2012. – High-grade companies sold at least $11.2 billion of bonds Tuesday, placing December on track to break an annual record for debt issuance.

Business Insider: What PIMCO’s new patent on bond market indexes means for investors - if you invest in a PIMCO index constructed by this method, you’ll be getting more bonds from countries with bigger economies as opposed to more bonds from countries whose bonds just happen to currently be valued higher.

Barron’s: – PIMCO’s Gross: Expect 3-4% future bond returns ‘at best’. In his December investment outlook, PIMCO bond guru Bill Gross laments “structural economic headwinds” that may curb real growth even below a 2% rate in the U.S. and developed countries around the globe.

WSJ: – Bill Gross’s bond fund took in $2.55 billion for November.The world’s biggest bond fund, run by Bill Gross, enticed $2.55 billion in new cash in November, boosting the inflow for this year to $17.1 billion.

FT: – California predicts $1bn budget surplus. – After a decade marred by ballooning budget deficits, rising unemployment and swingeing cuts in public services, California’s economy may have finally turned a corner. Good news for bond holders.

24/7 Wall St: – A how-to guide on the next big short: Treasury bond market.The Treasury market has rallied for almost 30 years. Pushing yields from Paul Volcker highs of 16%+ on the long bond to lows of 2.45%. Selling off back to the 16% level is all but impossible. But a move back up to a 4%, 5%, 6% or even 7% yield in Treasury notes and bonds is not out of the question. Again, the vexing question is when.

Investor Place: – The case for muni bonds: Safety and yield. While no one yet has a handle on the fiscal cliff’s outcome regarding taxes on capital gains and dividends — among many other concerns — investors would be wise to start looking at municipal bonds.

Herald Online: – California State Treasurer’s Office commissions municipal bond Default probability model. – Responding to market concerns about municipal credit quality, the California State Treasurer’s Office has commissioned a San Jose State University economist and a government-bond research group, Public Sector Credit Solutions, to develop a default probability model for city bonds.

MarketWatch: – An investment for those who shun the market. Here’s a look at a few alternative ways to invest without exposing yourself to the vagaries of the stock market, including Certificates of Deposits and of course bonds.

ETF Trends: – Is the tax-exempt status of muni bond ETFs in jeopardy? – Municipal bonds and related exchange traded funds have enticed investors with their tax-exempt status on the income they provide. Now with the so-called fiscal cliff threatening broad tax hikes, some speculate that munis could lose their favorable tax treatment. However, it’s unlikely this would happen.

CNN Money: – Municipal bonds: A train wreck waiting to happen. Here’s the deal. Unlike US Treasury securities and many corporate bonds, lots of investment-grade muni bonds can be — and will be — called in for early redemption by their issuers. That means that muni bonds’ apparent interest yields are way above the actual yield that you’ll get if you buy at today’s price.

MarketWatch: – Treasurys gain as fiscal-cliff debate drags on.Treasury’s rose on Wednesday, pushing yields down, as a continued lack of progress in Washington towards resolving the fiscal cliff increased worries that the economy could be pushed back into recession next year.

RBC Capital Markets: – US Municipal market update with Ken Friedrich. Ken Friedrich Manager of Municipal Sales, Trading & Syndication at RBC Capital Markets provide a municipal market update to shed light on why municipals have rallied tremendously since Election Day and whether December will bring more of the same.

Detroit Free Press: President Obama, you owe us. – City Council member JoAnn Watson says, Obama owes Detroit for the big turnout that aided his re-election and should repay Detroit with a massive federal bailout. She’s hallucinating, of course, but her fantasy begs the crucial question in the city right now: Which will come first, a municipal bankruptcy filing or the end of delusional governance?

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