What to Think About in a Bond-Market Reboot

US interest rates are likely to head up gradually over the next several years, now that the long tailwind from a three-decade-long rate decline has subsided. With bonds still an important part of many portfolios, what should investors be thinking about?

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Five Ways to Keep Out of the Bond Liquidity Trap

Bond investors are used to managing interest-rate risk and credit risk. But the financial crisis should have taught us that there are times when liquidity risk can be just as important to manage. Now is one of those times.

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The Liquidity Illusion: Pension Funds Should Rethink Fixed Income

Pension fund managers, like many investors, have historically paid a premium for liquidity. Lately they’ve started to realize that liquidity can be an illusion—but it can also be an opportunity.

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New US Bank Rules a Boon for Bond Investors

By Jeff Skoglund (pictured) and Shrut Vakil of AllianceBernstein (NYSE: AB) US banks have come a long way since the financial crisis, and that’s good news for fixed-income investors. We think better fundamentals and stricter regulations are creating a good formula for banks’ preferred securities.

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Low Duration Means Low Risk? Not Necessarily

To protect their portfolios from rising interest rates and volatility, many high-yield investors have headed for short-duration strategies. We think some of the more popular approaches may expose investors to bigger hazards than they realize.

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High-Yield Bonds: Call Waiting

High-yield bonds’ attractive income has made them popular in today’s low-rate environment. But market complacency has caused callable-bond investors to ignore a lurking risk: duration extension in a rising-rate scenario.

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Rising Rates: The Good, the Bad…No Ugly

By Doug Peebles (pictured) and Ivan Rudolph-Shabinsky of AllianceBernstein (NYSE:AB) The US Fed has said it will almost certainly boost short-term interest rates by 2015, and many bond investors are focused intently on managing the risks of rising rates. But it’s also important to recognize that there are benefits.

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Laddering Municipal Bonds Isn’t the Solution to Rising Rates

We think investors who build laddered portfolios to protect against rising rates will be disappointed—by locking in low yields with traditional ladders or by hidden risks of higher-yielding ladders. In our view, actively managed portfolios are better able to take advantage of changing markets.

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Bank Regulation: A New Opportunity in Credit?

Posted by Jorgen Kjaersgaard (pictured) and Steve Hussey of AllianceBernstein (NYSE: AB) European banks are issuing new subordinated bonds that can be written off in a crisis. For investors who are willing to take the risk, our analysis suggests these bonds may provide a way to beat the low returns in today’s corporate bond market.

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Could Reforms Lead to Asia Rerating?

Asia’s three biggest economies—China, India and Japan—are carrying out reform programs. Taken individually, these may do little to excite investors’ imaginations, but taken together, they become much more interesting.

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