Are Bonds Really Less Risky than Equities?

It’s practically an investing axiom that government bonds are much less volatile than equities. But that depends on how you look at it. In fact, our research suggests that income streams from stocks are actually much less volatile than those of government bonds.

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Lessons Learned in 2014

In 2014, US stocks forged ahead, international developed and emerging-market stocks lagged, bonds did better than expected, and the IRS took a bigger bite. Here are some lessons for US investors to carry forward into 2015.

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Is Levering Bonds a Loser’s Game Today?

By Michael DePalma (pictured) and Arnab Nilim Multi-asset strategies like risk parity owe much of their popularity to their ability to navigate the global financial crisis. Lately, critics have cited levered bond returns as the driver—and as a looming headwind. We think they’re missing a key point.

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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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Fed Rate Policy: Crafting a Game Plan

Capital markets could get a jolt if the US Federal Reserve raises interest rates faster and farther than expected. But we don’t think there would be a major sell-off in risk assets, and there are several ways for investors to play the possibilities.

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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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Is Opportunity Bubbling in Oil Pricing?

Longer-dated oil futures contracts have been on the rise so far in 2014, and we think there’s a good case to be made that they’ve got further to go. The potential for an upside oil-price surprise may point to investment opportunity.

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Risk Parity Under the Microscope

Posted by Daniel J. Loewy (pictured) and Brian T. Brugman of AllianceBernstein (NYSE: AB) After tremendous growth over more than a decade of strong returns, risk-parity strategies have recently been struggling. Has the market run-up exposed a fatal flaw? We don’t think so.

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Endowments and Foundations: Coping with a Budgetary Shortfall

Brian D. Wodar and Ashley E. Velategui The board of the Midtown Art Museum (MAM) had an unpleasant surprise. Due to federal budget cuts, an expected $1 million grant for the upcoming year was not going to arrive. This was a huge loss for an entity that had just $9 million in assets and $200,000 [...]

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Endowments and Foundations: How Should You Spend a Windfall?

Brian D. Wodar and Ashley E. Velategui If your endowment or foundation received an unexpected bequest, would you spend more now or would you hold spending steady in order to retain more income and boost your future capacity to spend?  

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