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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What Tax Strategies Make Sense for You?

Many investors adopt tax-reducing strategies from year to year without taking a step back to look at the big picture. But how you save or spend money today can have a profound impact on your after-tax wealth over the long term and, ultimately, on your legacy.

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What Your Parents Didn’t Tell You About Saving for Retirement

Chances are, your parents have told you to max out your 401(k) plan. That’s good advice, but the hard truth is that your 401(k) plan is highly likely to fall short. To live comfortably in retirement, our research shows, you will almost surely need more.

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US Economy Rebounds—with More Upside Likely

This week’s US gross domestic product (GDP) data paints a bright picture for the second quarter and a less gloomy first-quarter decline than first published. As impressive as the rebound looks on the surface, we think it’s still understated.

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US Productivity Puzzle Could Lead to Upside Surprise

A first-quarter productivity slump fueled concerns about the US economy, but second-quarter labor and company earnings data indicate better productivity and underlying growth. In short, the data point to a US economic cycle that’s broader and stronger than it appears on the surface.

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