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The emergence of target date funds (TDFs) has proven vitally important for the retirement industry.  Over the last 10 years, their significance has been magnified by key provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA).  However, like most innovative solutions, their benefits are somewhat offset by drawbacks that deserve inspection. Here, we will take […]

I think it’s safe to say that the ETF marketplace has grown larger and more diverse than anyone would have imagined when the first ETF was created in 1993.  Today virtually any asset class, investment style, economic sector, industry, region, or country can be accessed via an exchange traded fund.  If you can imagine it, […]

While the broad U.S. equities market strengthened Thursday, the biotechnology sector looked under the weather, with sector-related exchange traded funds slipping to 52-week lows. On Thursday, the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (NasdaqGS: IBB) fell 3.6% and SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (NYSEArca: XBI) dropped 3.5%. Year-to-date, IBB declined 19.2% and XBI decreased 26.4%. Both biotech ETFs […]

Currently, fixed income investors are more cautious toward credit risk than they were in 2015, especially among the more speculative segments of the market. How do we know? Yield spreads show the amount of compensation investors require to justify holding a risky security. As the first chart shows, option-adjusted spreads (or “OAS”) of issuers rated […]