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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Are Asia ex Japan Equities Primed for a Comeback?

Stuart Rae (pictured) and Rajeev Eyunni As developed-market equities continue to scale multiyear highs, their emerging-market counterparts—most notably Asian ex Japan stocks—have been more hesitant. Is it time for investors to take a closer look at the region?

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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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Draghi Sharpens “Three Arrows” for Europe

When the European Central Bank’s Governing Council convenes tomorrow in Frankfurt, there will be plenty of talk about Mario Draghi’s recent speech at Jackson Hole. Not only did this open the door to a large-scale quantitative easing (QE) programme, it may in time be seen as a pivotal moment in the evolution of the euro area’s policy framework as it attempts [...]

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China’s Reforms Open New Path to Equities

Stuart Rae (pictured) and John Lin For investors in China equities, there have traditionally been two ways of approaching the market: through expensive growth stocks, or risky contrarian plays. Now, thanks to China’s reforms, there’s a third way which may offer a better balance of risk and return.

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