Is CCC Credit Worth the Risk?

Typically, one would expect higher-risk assets to generate higher returns. But when it comes to high-yield corporate bonds, indiscriminate exposure to the CCC-and-below category may not produce the expected results. 

read more

Fiscal Cliff Adds Urgency to US Election Budget Showdown

With a record tax increase on tap for January 1, 2013, there has never been a better time for Washington to have a serious debate about fiscal policy. Before the economy reaches the so-called fiscal cliff, when huge tax increases and spending cuts are scheduled to take effect, US voters will have the opportunity to [...]

read more

New Fee Disclosures for US DC Plan Participants: Context Is Key

The US Department of Labor’s new 404(a)(5) fee-disclosure rules for defined contribution (DC) plans will provide participants with a lot more information on plan and investment fees—in plain language. That’s a good thing. But there’s a real risk that the new rule may unintentionally drive participants to make poor investment choices.

read more

Is a Japan-Style “Lost Decade” Ahead for the US?

The laborious pace of the US recovery has inevitably fostered comparisons with Japan. But we find several reasons why a protracted slump like Japan’s is unlikely, as my colleague Gerry Paul argues below.

read more

The Five Biggest Myths of Retirement Planning

In the world of retirement planning, some myths persist, despite continued efforts to debunk them. Below, my colleague Tara Thompson-Popernik discusses a few of the most stubborn myths we encounter.

read more

Stocks and Bonds: Comparing the Range of Potential Outcomes

Investors fleeing stocks have mostly sought shelter in bonds. That’s understandable, given their relative stability and reliable income. But it’s important to compare long-term expected returns, too.

read more

What Works in Tough Equity Markets?

During the market crisis of 2008–2011, traditional equity style strategies such as value and growth underperformed the markets, often by wide margins. But our research shows that there was a way to diminish the negative impact of market turmoil on portfolio returns.

read more

The Fundamental Case for the 20,000 Dow

While some people deem stocks expensive relative to 10-year trailing earnings, we take a forward-looking approach. It starts with the premise that the stock market is not a casino and stock prices are not pulled out of thin air: they reflect the intrinsic value of companies’ future earnings.

read more

Could Tax Reform Hurt Municipal Bond Prices?

Tax rates and federal government expenditures are being discussed in Washington. The ultimate result could affect the value of municipal bonds. My colleague Michael Brooks explains.

read more

The Benefit of Transferring Wealth by Year End

With US gift- and estate-tax rates slated to rise on January 1, it may be wise to gift assets before year-end. As my colleague Andrew Auchincloss explains below, you still have a rare (but fleeting) opportunity to transfer wealth tax efficiently.

read more

Archives by Month:

Archives by Subject: