Perspectives Blog

Interpreting the bond rally from a multi-asset perspective

Jeffrey Knight, CFA, Global Head of Investment Solutions and Asset Allocation | June 2, 2014

A framework for identifying capital market states can help set expectations for markets in the aftermath of the recent bond rally. Our framework suggests a highly bullish market state for equities although that market state would shift to bearish if conditions became more neutral. While we expect ongoing strength in equities (which should pressure bond markets and drive yields higher), the durability of strong performance in risk asset markets…

Q3 fixed income outlook – The demise of volatility

Gene Tannuzzo, CFA, Senior Portfolio Manager | June 30, 2014

Because yield is an important driver of returns, we believe investors may be better served staying invested rather than sitting in cash or taking a decisively negative position on bonds. History has shown that volatility can stay low for extended periods. In that case, we would expect credit sensitive assets to continue to generate reasonable returns. While we think investors should retain exposure in the bond market, it is important to be flex…

What’s the outlook for muni bonds?

James Dearborn, Head of Municipal Bonds | June 19, 2014

Strong YTD performance resulted from falling rates, a dearth of new supply and a resurgent demand by investors seeking attractive taxable-equivalent yields. We believe municipal bonds should continue to perform well in the second half of 2014. Yields on muni bonds are compelling when considering the impact of taxes on non-exempt securities. As we reach the halfway point of 2014, it’s a good opportunity to review our full-year outlook for the m…

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…

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…