Concerned About Rising Rates? Add Ballast by Going Global

A US-only bond investor is affected by one business cycle, one yield curve and a single monetary policy. As long as rates were falling, that seemed like a good thing. Not so these days.

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Last Call to Take Advantage of Ultralow Rates for GRATs?

 Tara Thompson Popernik (in photo) and Stephen S. Schilling US investors interested in establishing a “zeroed-out” Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT) would benefit from completing their transactions before rising interest rates diminish its potential value—preferably before the end of July.

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Opportunity Knocks for Mortgage Investors

We don’t usually think of rising rates as being good for homeowners. That may be because we’re accustomed to thinking of financing (and refinancing) as the key to reviving sagging housing markets. And it’s true that financing availability remains tight, at least by historical standards, and isn’t going to get looser with rising rates.

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Rising Rates: Time to Position, Not Panic

It finally happened. After endless discussion about the potential for rates to rise, they finally did—in a big way. During May and June, the 10-year US Treasury yield soared by nearly one percent, and markets reeled. Instead of panicking, investors should make sure their portfolios are positioned effectively.

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Keeping Your Balance During Shaky Markets

By Paul DeNoon (pictured) and Gershon Distenfeld While capital markets have had their ups and downs, it’s been at least 15 years since we’ve seen such a broad swathe of the global markets take a hit at the same time—risky and “risk-free” assets alike.

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Municipals: A Glimpse of What’s to Come?

Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke reiterated today that a healthier economy would prompt the Fed to end its unprecedented bond-buying program, which has kept yields artificially low. Speculation on this question over the last several weeks has caused a sharp bond sell-off and rising yields. But we don’t see this as the start of a rout [...]

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Profit from Your Premium Bonds

When investors see opportunity, we believe they should actively reposition their municipal bond portfolios to take advantage. Often, this requires selling some existing holdings. Today, investors are asking us: Why do you recommend I sell my long-term bonds? They’re yielding 5%. Won’t selling them reduce my potential returns?

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Do TIPS Pose a Hidden Risk to Seekers of Inflation Protection?

Treasury-inflation protected securities, or TIPS, have been a popular choice for investors concerned about future inflation. And TIPS’ returns have been impressive in recent years. But the main contributor to TIPS’ performance isn’t inflation. It’s an ingredient that could become as hurtful down the road as it’s been helpful in the past.

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Don’t Be Caught Long: Strategies to Curb Interest-Rate Risk in the Municipal Market

A municipal portfolio full of bonds with maturities in the 20- to 30-year range is exposed today to the high risk of rising interest rates. As my colleague Wayne Godlin explains, now may be the right time to shorten your duration and lower your credit quality.

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