There have been instances where the passive approach to bond investing produced significant underperformance relative to a benchmark. Index funds are at a significant disadvantage to active portfolios in which managers incorporate valuation into their decision making process. The many nuances and inefficiencies of the fixed income market create both difficulties for indexing and opportunities
Surprisingly solid returns for bonds in the first half could lead to disappointment in the second half of the year. We continue to believe high-yield bonds are worth holding, especially higher quality ones. Improved country fundamentals and strong technical support favor EM bonds but caution that returns could be less stable in the near term.
Major asset classes had nice gains through mid-June but have declined as of late. Although we still favor equities, we think it is time to bolster portfolio resilience. We are keeping our eye on Europe as the summer comes to an end. A reputation, it is said, takes a long time to build, but a
Non-cyclical sectors slightly out performed cyclical sectors during the quarter. In technology, the U.S. is improving, Europe is still not strong and developing markets lag. The healthcare sector improved, but it is still a question mark for the second half of the year. As the economic recovery matures, we have seen a fairly consistent pattern
Broad measures of cost inflation (PPI and CPI) growth rates have remained near 2% for the past three years. Sharp increases have occurred in isolated areas like trucking, but the effect is far-reaching. Investors must be on the lookout for accelerating expense growth within a company or industry cost structure, as high inflation can lead
In today’s low interest rate environment, investors with cash on hand and a limited appetite for risk aren’t having an easy time growing their wealth. The Fed’s strong influence throughout the government and corporate bond markets makes it hard to find attractive fixed-income instruments of low or moderate risk. To increase an investor’s chances of
For college savers, 529 plans offer various tax benefits, flexibility and control. 529 account owners have a choice of state plans, regardless of residency or income level. 529 account beneficiaries can use funds at any eligible educational institution and for a number of expenses in addition to tuition. A 529 college savings plan is one