Municipal Bonds

As people digest the changing Federal Reserve outlook, fixed-income investors may want to hold onto their municipal debt and bond-related exchange traded fund positions. “One area of the U.S. bond market that does merit attention is the municipal market,” according to Russ Koesterich, Global Chief Investment Strategist and Head of the Model Portfolio & Solutions […]

Municipal debt and bond-related exchange traded funds have been outperforming Treasuries and could maintain their momentum ahead as more investors turn to the relatively stable and strong asset. “The audience for the asset class continues to expand with increasing interest from non-traditional domestic and foreign buyers,” according to the BlackRock Municipals Group. “As demand is […]

The Federal Reserve could announce an interest rate hike next week. Consequently, fixed-income investors may want to think about ways to limit the negative impact of rising rates, such as moving down the yield curve to short-term bond exchange traded funds. When interest rates rise, the price of older bonds with lower rates fall. Since […]

As exchange traded fund providers fuel an ongoing fee war in an attempt to one-up each other to attract assets, investors should look beyond expense ratios and consider other factors that make an ETF suitable for their investment horizon. Earlier this month, BlackRock (NYSE: BLK) trimmed the fees on seven of its iShares Core ETFs, […]

Though municipal bonds and the exchange traded funds that hold that debt are viewed as potentially vulnerable to potential changes in Federal Reserve interest rate policy, these funds have remained popular with conservative income investors. Now, municipal bond investors could see a wave of new issuance as municipalities race to get bonds to market in […]

As the markets prepare for a rising interest rate environment, bond exchange traded fund investors may turn to more defensive strategies to prop up performance and mitigate rate risks. Charles Schwab strategists argue that fixed income will offer opportunities as the Federal Reserve is set to hike interest rates, but the strategies may boring, reports […]

Despite the billions that has flowed into exchange traded funds, the municipal bond ETF space still has plenty of room to grow. Through September 30, actively managed municipal-debt funds had $573 billion in assets under management, compared to just $20 billion for index funds – the largest active-to-passive difference for eight distinct fund types tracked […]

Municipal debt and bond-related exchange traded funds may not be glamorous, but local debt securities are outperforming corporate bonds and giving many other assets a run for their money. For instance, the iShares National AMT-Free Muni Bond ETF (NYSEArca: MUB), which has a 4.72 year duration and a 1.64% 30-day SEC yield or a 2.89% […]

While the U.S. is stuck with an anemic inflation rate, investors can ride out a deflationary environment through certain assets and exchange traded funds. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total national rate of inflation was 0.2% in August, reports Jeff Cox for CNBC. Only the West had a positive Consumer Price Index […]

Even with mounting concern over Puerto Rico’s ability to repay debt obligations and ongoing speculation about when the Federal Reserve will finally increase interest rates, municipal exchange traded and mutual funds remain popular with investors. The munis market has been pressured this year by rising new issues, or greater supply, but Christopher Alwine, head of […]

Fixed income investors may generate robust taxable equivalent yields from a municipal bond exchange traded fund that tracks a basket of closed end funds. On the recent webcast, Attractive Value Now Seen in Municipal Bond Closed-End Funds, Paul Mazzilli, senior advisor for S-Network Global Indexes, pointed out that muni-closed end funds, or CEFs, represent over […]

After the recent bout of volatility, investors may find an opportunity in the municipal bond market and related exchange traded funds. On the upcoming webcast, Attractive Value Now Seen in Municipal Bond Closed-End Funds, James Colby, senior municipal strategist at Van Eck Global, Paul Mazzilli, senior advisor for S-Network Global Indexes, and Michael Cohick, ETF […]

Despite the elevated volatility as a result of slowing economic growth and uncertainty over the Federal Reserve rate hike, investors may still find value in some fixed-income assets and related exchange traded funds. For instance, Russ Koesterich, global chief investment strategist and head of the model portfolio & solutions business at BlackRock, still favors a […]

While fixed-income investors may not experience another robust run in traditional bond assets, municipal bonds and related exchange traded funds may still offer stability in a volatile market environment. The munis market has been pressured this year by rising new issues, or greater supply, but Christopher Alwine, head of the municipal bond group at Vanguard, […]

Fixed-income investors who like a more hands on approach in managing their bond investments can take a look at two new iShares municipal bond exchange traded funds that could fit well in a laddered portfolio strategy. BlackRock’s iShares recently launched the iBonds Dec 2021 AMT-Free Muni Bond ETF (NYSEArca: IBMJ) and the iBonds Dec 2022 […]

A play on the famous catchphrase offered by the fictional James Bond in the movie Goldfinger begins to describe, I believe, the state of the financial markets as August came to a close. Yes, the world’s markets have been shaken these past two weeks with declines in asset values that The New York Times1 suggested […]

The Vanguard Group has filled out a glaring gap in its fixed-income exchange traded fund investment suite, adding its first municipal bond ETF. On Tuesday, Vanguard introduced the Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond Index Fund (NYSEArca: VTEB). “Vanguard is a pioneer in index investing and a leader in municipal bond fund management. Our new fund enables us […]

Although summer is not yet over, the “vacation” that many investors seem to have taken with respect to their muni investment perspective may well be coming to an end. The timeline leading up to the summer months included headline-generating withdrawals from mutual funds and a calendar of newly issued bonds that may push the 2015 […]

A fair number of commenters, callers and perma-bulls were relatively tough on me in May when I suggested a strategic decision to raise cash levels. They were even tougher on me when I mentioned the possibility of picking up safer havens like intermediate treasuries via iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond (IEF) and intermediate-to-long duration municipal […]

In anticipation of the Federal Reserve’s changes to its loose monetary policy, investors can take a look at alternative exchange traded fund income strategies that help mitigate potential risks down the road. On the recent webcast, ETF Income Strategies for Today’s Intelligent Advisor, Bill Chepolis, managing director and co-head of fixed income for North America […]

The municipal market has been receiving a great deal of mostly hard-earned attention in all sorts of media venues this summer. Possibly the spotlight will enlighten an investing population on how tightly woven municipal bonds are to the broad fabric of our country’s growth and well-being. These are some of the issues that have come […]

We have crossed over into the second half of the 2015 calendar year and with that, it is an academic—but instructive—exercise to see where we have been and how we have performed. Because the thesis of this post is that investors are flush with cash from a variety of sources, I hope to make the […]

Mounting concern over Puerto Rico’s ability to repay debt obligations could continue to add to volatility in high-yield municipal bond exchange traded funds. High-yield munis dropped off in late June on Puerto Rico default fears but has traded higher since, along with the broader markets. Over the past week, the Market Vectors High Yield Municipal […]

Municipal bonds and related exchange traded funds have been used as a relatively stable fixed-income stream. Nevertheless, investors should also be aware of the risks associated with the investment category. For starters, one should know how a state, county or other local government can meet its financial obligations, writes Manisha Thakor, director of Wealth Strategies […]

Chicago. Detroit. Puerto Rico. Increasingly precarious financial positions in those cities and territories and others across the U.S. have cast a pall over the municipal bond market. The cases of Chicago, Detroit and other cities across the U.S., including several mid-sized cities in California, underscore the pressure public pensions and post-employment benefits, such as healthcare […]

The S&P Municipal Bond North Dakota Index (0.47% QTD) was the only U.S. state or territory index to finish the second quarter in the black.  The bonds tracked by the S&P Municipal Bond Puerto Rico Index (-8.22% QTD) have been in the focus of the mainstream media this week following public statements from their governor […]

Fixed income investors can still find some yield generating opportunities and diversify with bond exchange traded funds. For instance, Rick Rieder, BlackRock’s chief investment officer of fundamental fixed income, believes that investors should take a look at municipal bonds as they are less correlated to Treasuries, CNBC reports. “We are overweight municipals,” according to a […]

Greece or Puerto Rico. Investors have their pick of default poison, but investors in fixed income exchange traded and mutual funds would do well to monitor goings on in Puerto Rico because the U.S. territory’s imminent default could affect some well-known municipal bond funds. So dire is the situation in Puerto Rico, Gov. Alejandro García […]

With Greece captivating investors’ attention today, the reaction to Puerto Rico’s debt troubles might just be “Oh yeah, Puerto Rico is about to default.” That does not change the fact the U.S. territory cannot pay $72 billion in debts. So dire is the situation in Puerto Rico, Gov. Alejandro García Padilla told the New York […]