Positive Developments for Municipal Bond Investors

Public pension underfunding at the state and local level has rightly received an enormous amount of attention over the past few years. Most public pension funds are significantly underfunded when pension liabilities are valued using economically reasonable assumptions. In fact, Moody’s has calculated total underfunding to be roughly $1.8 trillion as of 2011, meaning the …Read More.

How You Frame the Investing Question Matters

It’s my experience that there are two keys to being able to maintain control over those urges that get investors into trouble. The first is to understand financial history. That means knowing that stocks are high risk investments, subject to large losses (we’ve had three bear markets with losses of about 50 percent or more …Read More.

The American Funds Advantage?

I was forwarded an article that American Funds published touting the superiority of its funds relative to index strategies. The piece contains statements like this: “Some investment managers, American Funds among them, have distinguished themselves with a proven track record of consistently outpacing broad market returns.” And other fabulous statements like this: “Obviously, some are …Read More.

Know-Nothing Investors Outperform Know-Somethings

All but the most diehard proponents of the efficient-markets hypothesis accept the fact that with valuable inside information, one can earn abnormal returns. That leaves this question: Does access to information that is publicly available provide investors with a sufficient advantage to outperform appropriate risk-adjusted benchmarks (generate alpha)? In other words, is the quantity and …Read More.

In Context Newsletter – Fall 2013

The third quarter certainly had its fair share of stress for investors. As the quarter came to a close, it was clear the federal government would undergo a partial shutdown on October 1. As if that was not enough, the debt ceiling deadline loomed. There was concern the federal government might default on Treasury bond principal and interest payments or other financial commitments if Congress and the White House failed to act before October 17… …Read More.

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