Perspectives Blog

Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water – The case for long muni bond funds

Catherine Stienstra, Senior Portfolio Manager | January 29, 2014

Why invest in long-term muni bonds? Why investors should focus on tax-free income and total return Many investors fled the muni market in 2013, as $60 billion in mutual fund redemptions attests. Particularly hard hit were longer-maturity funds, likely due to investors anticipating higher interest rates and the negative impact that would have on fixed-income investments, especially longer bonds. While such concerns appear rational, is avoiding…

Fear is not a strategy

James Dearborn, Head of Municipal Bonds | November 18, 2013

As muni bond prices fell and yields soared in recent months, fear and uncertainty kept investors away. Amidst the unprecedented fear-based sell-off, the fundamentals of the muni bond market continue to strengthen. Bypassing muni bonds may mean missing out on today’s attractive long-term buying opportunities. Tax-free income is a big reason why so many investors have included municipal bonds in their financial plans. In recent months, yie…

Navigating the municipal bond market

James Dearborn, Head of Municipal Bonds | February 5, 2014

In recent months there has been a lot of concern and anxiety in the municipal bond market, and investors remain skittish. Although the general trend in municipal credit is positive, investors should be mindful of the risks associated with Puerto Rico municipal bonds. We believe the combination of high tax equivalent yields, increasing tax rates, a steep yield curve and improving fundamentals result in higher tax revenues and restrained spending…

Navigating rising rates

Columbia Management, Investment Team | June 11, 2013

…Pandl, Senior Interest Rate Strategist, and Gene Tannuzzo, Senior Portfolio Manager It’s time for investors to start thinking seriously about interest rate risk in portfolios. Over the last three decades, long-term government bonds rewarded investors with healthy real returns, relatively low volatility and good performance during economic downturns. But at current yield levels, it is hard to escape the conclusion that prospective returns look muc…

Compelling opportunity in municipal bonds

Catherine Stienstra, Senior Portfolio Manager | November 7, 2013

Municipal bond market movements have provided an attractive opportunity to lock in attractive yields. Although credit problems in Detroit and Puerto Rico made headlines, these issues are not representative of the broad municipal market — the number of municipal defaults is at its lowest level since at least 2009. With rising tax rates, the advantages of tax-exempt income can be considerable. Attractive yields vs. corporate and Treasury b…

The case for active muni management

Kimberly Campbell, Senior Portfolio Manager | April 21, 2014

Muni bonds represent an attractive investment opportunity Active management is a value add in these volatile markets Professional money managers can help investors navigate an ever-changing environment Where does one invest in a world of uncertainty? Rising taxes, volatile markets, low yields, economic stagnation, geopolitical unrest. We live in a world of great uncertainty — yet our investment goals remain the same: a comfortable retirement,…

Trouble in paradise: Q&A about Puerto Rico bonds

Chad Farrington, CFA, Head of Municipal Bond Research | January 2, 2014

Why has Puerto Rico become such an issue now? Should investors be concerned with a downgrade or default? Is Puerto Rico a systemic risk for the municipal market? Historically, Puerto Rico (PR) bonds’ high yield and triple tax exemption (federal, state and local) had been a big lure for many institutional investors, such as mutual funds. PR debt exposure in municipal bond funds, namely single-state municipal bond funds, proved advantageous for sh…