Perspectives Blog

Bond yields are too low somewhere

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | July 14, 2014

Long-maturity bond yields are determined at a global level. Abnormally low forward rates are not just a U.S. phenomenon: there’s been a similar shift in the relationship between rates and growth across developed markets. If global rates remain persistently low, financial conditions will eventually need to tighten in other ways to offset this unexpected stimulus. The big surprise in bond markets this year has been the low level of long-maturity…

Duration for diversification

Columbia Management, Investment Team | November 19, 2013

Many investors struggle to determine the appropriate amount of bond duration in an environment of rising interest rates. The right amount of duration has to be considered in a portfolio context, because the main value of duration exposure comes through diversification. Because of the negative correlation between duration and the returns of riskier assets, high-quality fixed income will still be a cornerstone of any disciplined portfolio. By Za…

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…

Special report – 2014 mid-year review and outlook

Columbia Management, Investment Team | June 16, 2014

Key investment professionals review the first half of 2014 and share their insights into what may be ahead for the second half of the year. Interest rates Zach Pandl, Portfolio manager and strategist Review: Government bond yields declined in early 2014, both in the U.S. and in other developed market economies. This surprising change in course after increases in 2013 caught many investors off guard. In our view, declining interest rates reflect…

Hungry for income? High yield munis could be your meal ticket

Chad Farrington, CFA, Head of Municipal Bond Credit Research and Senior Portfolio Manager | May 28, 2014

High yield muni bonds represent an attractive investment opportunity Professional money managers can help with the intricacies of the high yield muni space Current income and potential tax advantages in the high yield space Attractive yields, potential for price appreciation Many investors are concerned about the prospect of rising interest rates and the impact higher rates may have on bonds, especially since we’ve been in a very low rate envi…

Fixed income strategies – The pros and cons of generating returns with negative duration

Columbia Management, Investment Team | July 14, 2014

Unconstrained multi-sector bond funds have become very popular due to their flexibility to invest tactically across sectors and manage interest rate sensitivity. While it may be useful for a fixed income manager to employ a negative duration strategy, getting the timing right can be very challenging. With interest rates defying expectations so far in 2014, investors need to ask what should be at the core of their fixed income portfolio. By Kri…

U.S. rates — View update

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | April 4, 2014

Compared to the market consensus, our views have been more negative on three key duration fundamentals. Following recent remarks by Fed Chair Janet Yellen, we are now less confident about how to read Yellen’s policy strategy. We are still expecting higher rates; however, we now have less conviction that 3-5yr Treasuries will continue to underperform on the curve. For the last couple of months we have argued that portfolios should remain underw…