Perspectives Blog

When do floating rate loans begin to float?

Columbia Management, Investment Team | July 11, 2013

Given the significant and rapid move in Treasury yields over the last month, many investors in the floating rate asset class may be expecting to see higher income distributions. The presence of LIBOR floors in the leveraged loan market today means that investors may end up waiting a little bit longer to realize an uptick in coupon payments. However, relative performance for bank loans has been strong, and this asset class provides important div…

Navigating rising rates

Columbia Management, Investment Team | June 11, 2013

Interest rates will rise at some point; investors must consider how to manage interest rate exposure in their portfolios. Duration can be a highly misleading measure of interest rate risk when making comparisons across products. For fixed income investors, sector exposure matters, and fundamental research can help avoid potholes. By Zach Pandl, Senior Interest Rate Strategist, and Gene Tannuzzo, Senior Portfolio Manager It’s time for investors…

Gaps, not growth

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | February 25, 2014

Monetary policy is primarily about “gaps” not growth: the Fed is trying to reduce spare capacity in the economy, not bring about a rapid expansion per se. Despite concerns over cyclical weakness in labor force participation, the unemployment rate is sending similar signals as most other output gap proxies. The output gap improved despite a relatively slow expansion, suggesting weak potential growth. While it’s far too soon to revise any medium…

A primer on preferred securities

Carl Pappo, Head of Core Fixed Income | March 10, 2014

…capital structure, and are always ahead of common equity and traditional preferred securities. The newest generation of hybrid structure typically start out as fixed-rate bonds for a set period and then transition to floating rate payments following a call date. • Traditional preferred securities are perpetual securities that rank ahead of common shares and behind all other debt. These securities are typically held by retail investors and usually…

Should your income be fixed?

David King, CFA, Senior Portfolio Manager | December 16, 2013

Investors need to rethink the role of fixed income in building portfolios How to provide an adequate rate of return with an acceptable level of risk Benefits of a non-fixed, income-oriented strategy in today’s environment Peanut butter and jelly. Bacon and eggs. Scotch and soda. In the investment industry, the words “fixed” and “income” seem as inseparable as our favorite food and beverage combinations. Something which has served millions of p…

U.S. rates – Headwinds

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | March 17, 2014

At this week’s meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee looks likely to rework its forward guidance for short-term interest rates once again. We expect revised forward guidance to lean heavily on the idea of “headwinds”; this is a stand-in term for a low equilibrium real rate. We expect that the new guidance will make three main points: (1) that the FOMC is in no hurry to raise rates, (2) that rate hikes can proceed gradually once…

Another look at disability and labor force participation

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | April 7, 2014

In searching for explanations for the steep decline in the U.S. labor force participation rate analysts have rightly stressed the importance of retiring baby boomers. Increase in disability share accounts for 20-25% of the drop in the labor force participation rate since 2007 (vs ~45% for retirements). We expect this shift to be essentially permanent, but growth in the disability share will also probably slow down. In searching for explanation…