The Right Fit: Global Bonds and DC Plans

At a time when US defined contribution plans are seeking to control risk and enhance returns, hedged global bonds can improve outcomes for participants and sponsors. But how do plans incorporate global bonds in core menus and target-date funds?

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Tinkering with the Core Bond Recipe

This is the time of year when, in almost every American household, the tinkerer in the family eyes the recipe box. Certain venerable traditions will make it to the Thanksgiving table intact. A cousin or an in-law is sure to bring an entirely new dish. And some traditional plates could use some freshening up. That’s [...]

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Get Smart About Giving

With the year-end drawing near, many US taxpayers are starting to think about how much to give to tax-deductible causes. But too often, even financially sophisticated people miss a simple way to boost the tax benefit from their charitable donations: by giving appreciated securities, rather than cash.

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US Housing Rebound Puts Spotlight on Real Estate

With a US housing recovery in full swing, this may be a good time for investors to consider securities backed by residential real estate. We think they’re an attractive way to diversify exposure to high-yield bonds and other risk-seeking assets.

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Rising Rates: The Great Pumpkin

In late 2013, the 10-year US Treasury yield hit 3%, spooking investors who thought the bond bubble was bursting. Prognosticators urged investors to abandon bonds. And then—they waited.

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Gauging the Spook Factor for Municipal Bond Investors

The muni market seems to be returning to normal after major outflows last summer, though several potential hot-button issues could still spook investors. We don’t think these represent major risks to market returns or properly positioned portfolios.

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Investing for Tax-Efficient Portfolio Income

Tara Thompson Popernik (pictured) and Robert Dietz With tax-exempt income from US municipal bond portfolios still near historic lows, investors spending from their portfolios can no longer get the income they need by simply increasing their allocation to high-quality, intermediate-duration bonds. As a result, many investors today are chasing yield into dangerous territory.

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Avoiding Short-Term Gains

Want to reduce tax on your investment income? Avoid sales of appreciated stocks held less than a year. Here’s how it might have helped some disappointed Facebook shareholders earlier this year.

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A Nice Problem to Have (and Some Partial Solutions)

 Paul Robertson and Tara Thompson Popernik Many taxable US investors will face higher capital gains tax bills for 2014 than for 2013, although market returns are likely to be more modest. The reason isn’t higher tax rates: US tax rates were up in 2013, too. The reason is large capital gains and limited losses.

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What’s the Safest Investment Strategy?

Seth J. Masters and John McLaughlin Many investors with little appetite for risk think cash is the safest asset class. After all, if you have no investments, you have no investment risk. That’s true enough, but it’s reassuring only if you ignore inflation and taxes.  And of course, most individuals do pay taxes and everyone [...]

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