iShares National AMT-Free Muni Bond

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  • Financials

    Important releases hone in on rates and consumer spending

    The hottest topic for market players right now is the interest rate hike. Last week’s labor releases spurred the recovery. Many investors had thought the recovery was flagging.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Financials

    Will consumer spending affect the yield curve and Fed funds rate?

    The Bureau of Economic Analysis will release its personal income and outlays report for March on Thursday, May 1. The report measures individuals’ income and expenditure levels.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Financials

    Unique opportunities for investors given new monetary policy outlook

    I’ve discussed on The Blog how an investor can think of the federal funds rate and QE as a gas pedal. Sometimes it’s good to ease off a bit to limit the pace of acceleration.

    By Matt Tucker, CFA
  • uploads///Municipal Bonds Outperformed Other Bond Classes in
    Macroeconomic Analysis

    How to Ballast Your Portfolio with Bonds

    Municipal bonds (or munis) were the best performers in 2015 with returns of 3.2%. Meanwhile, investment-grade corporate bonds (LQD), long-dated Treasuries (TLT), and high-yield bonds (HYG) all gave negative returns in 2015.

    By Russ Koesterich, CFA
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    Financials

    Municipal bonds in 2014: General obligation bonds down but not out

    Total municipal bond issuance in the first quarter of 2014, was $62.6 billion, down ~26% from the $84.3 billion issued in the first quarter of 2013.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Financials

    Must-read: Use emerging market bonds for higher yield potential

    For those who want a little more adventure on their menu, there’s always the option of adding some unique flavors like spicy kebabs. This is the equivalent of adding some emerging markets fixed income to your bond portfolio.

    By Matt Tucker, CFA
  • Financials

    Must-know: Where will the doves and hawks find common ground?

    The pursuit of higher employment, in terms of both labor and resources, often involves a loose monetary policy.

    By Phalguni Soni
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    Real Insights

    What Caused the Muni Defaults in 2016?

    In 2016, Puerto Rico defaulted on constitutionally guaranteed GO (general obligation) bonds. On May 3, 2017, Puerto Rico filed for Title III bankruptcy.

    By VanEck
  • Financials

    Must-know: Fisher’s stance at future FOMC meetings this year

    Fostering price stability is one of the Fed’s most important goals.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Financials

    Fiscal policy changes US investors much watch out for

    According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the US has to spend ~$3.6 trillion by 2020 to make needed infrastructure improvements. This should mean more municipal bonds (MUB) will be issued to help finance these projects.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Financials

    Key benefits of municipal bond investments for your portfolio

    The chief advantage of investing in municipal bonds (VRD) is that the interest income on most of them is exempt from federal income taxes and often state and local taxes as well.

    By Phalguni Soni
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    Financials

    Why did muni maturities decline in the primary market in Q1 2014?

    Average maturity for new municipal bond issues came in lower at 15.2 years in Q1 2014 compared to 16.3 years in 2013 and an average of 17.7 years over the period 1996-2013.

    By Phalguni Soni
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    Financials

    Must-know: An update on Puerto Rico’s economic and fiscal issues

    Puerto Rico has been in the spotlight recently due to the downgrade of its debt to junk status in February, 2014, by all three major credit ratings agencies (Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch).

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Financials

    Overview: New York Fed’s advice to revive Puerto Rico’s economy

    In 2011, led by Dr. William Dudley, the New York Fed had commissioned a report on the major economic issues facing the island of Puerto Rico.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Financials

    Why is Puerto Rico’s economy unique compared to mainland U.S.?

    Public corporations account for about 40% of the total outstanding debt of Puerto Rico.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • uploads///Puerto Ricos GDB Economic Activity Index
    Healthcare

    Must-know market update: Is Puerto Rico losing its salsero vibe?

    The charm of the island has been overshadowed with feelings of pessimism regarding the fiscally distressed state of the economy.

    By Surbhi Jain
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    Real Insights

    A Glance at Muni Bonds’ Performance in 2016

    The performance of municipal bonds has fallen since the 2016 election, as President Trump’s tax reform and infrastructure spending plans have caused some concern among investors.

    By VanEck
  • uploads///Healthcare Has Been One of the Major Industries Hit by Ransomeware
    Real Insights

    How Municipalities Can Prevent Cyber Attacks

    One possible driver to action could simply be alerting the public through their local media outlets just what havoc can be, and has been, wrought by cyberattacks.

    By VanEck
  • uploads///Ransomware Attacks Are on the Rise
    Real Insights

    Ransomware Attacks Are on the Rise

    We are all potentially at risk of cyberattack – directly or indirectly. When it comes to municipalities, this may not always be obvious to the average state or city taxpayer.

    By VanEck
  • uploads///Tobacco Bonds Have Been Very Volatile
    Real Insights

    Do Tobacco Bonds Warrant a Place in Your Portfolio?

    Tobacco bonds have been volatile in the last seven years. Falling MSA payments caused the volatility. Tobacco bonds offer relatively good cash flow returns.

    By VanEck
  • uploads///uncertainty
    Real Insights

    Can Fallen Angel Bonds Continue to Perform amid Uncertainties?

    VanEck Fallen angel high yield bonds were up 4.8% year to date through April 30, outperforming the broader high yield bond market which rose 3.9%.[1.Source of all data unless otherwise noted: FactSet. Data as of March 31, 2017. Fallen angels are high yield corporate bonds that are originally issued with investment grade credit ratings, and […]

    By VanEck
  • uploads///muntrea
    Company & Industry Overviews

    How Are Muni Bonds Looking Currently?

    Opportunistic tax-loss selling, $46 billion in maturities and coupon payments, and constrained supplies in municipal bonds all point to one thing: the January Effect may be a “slam dunk.”

    By VanEck
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    Company & Industry Overviews

    Is There an Opportunity in a Muni Sell-Off?

    With their high yields, low prices, and tax-efficient returns, muni bonds (HYD) (ITM) could be available to investors at a dirt cheap rate in the coming months.

    By VanEck
  • uploads///muni yield curve
    Company & Industry Overviews

    Attractive Relative Yields from Muni Bonds

    We believe recent municipal bond weakness is an opportunity to put money to work at lower prices than what we have seen for some time. High quality, triple-A rated municipal bonds with maturities between 13 to 23 years currently offer higher nominal yields than 10-year U.S. Treasuries, making them particularly attractive, as shown in the […]

    By VanEck
  • uploads///muni bonds tax slabs
    Company & Industry Overviews

    Food for Thought: Consider Municipal Bonds

    Many muni analysts and market participants maintain that the recent negative performance of muni bonds is unlikely to result in “taper tantrum-style” muni fund outflows, despite expectations of a Fed rate hike before year end. We believe that markets have already priced in a rate hike, given that U.S. Treasury futures reflect a 70% probability […]

    By VanEck
  • uploads///muni yield curve
    Company & Industry Overviews

    Attractive Relative Yields from Munis

    We believe recent municipal bond weakness is an opportunity to put money to work at lower prices than what we have seen for some time. High quality, triple-A rated municipal bonds with maturities between 13 to 23 years currently offer higher nominal yields than 10-year U.S. Treasuries, making them particularly attractive, as shown in the […]

    By VanEck
  • uploads///muni bonds tax slabs
    Company & Industry Overviews

    Food for Thought: Consider Investing in Municipal Bonds

    The biggest benefit of municipal bonds, or muni bonds (MUB) as they are more popularly known, is their extremely tax efficient nature.

    By VanEck
  • uploads/// Correlation
    Company & Industry Overviews

    Municipal Bonds Are the Ballast to Equity Risk

    Historically, investment-grade and high-yield municipal bonds (MUB) have a very low correlation with most other asset classes.

    By Peter Hayes
  • uploads/// Index Volatility
    Company & Industry Overviews

    Why Municipal Bonds Are Immune to Market Volatility

    Generally, municipal bonds (SUB) are immune to market volatility, thus providing considerable support to a portfolio.

    By Peter Hayes
  • uploads/// Barclays Returns
    Company & Industry Overviews

    Yield Is the Workhorse of Municipal Bond Returns

    Over the years, average returns from municipal bonds (CMF) are in line with the broader index. They outperformed in some years and underperformed in others.

    By Peter Hayes
  • uploads/// After tax yield
    Company & Industry Overviews

    Are Municipal Bonds Really for Me?

    Municipal bonds (MUB) have provided an excellent return in the past year. The returns are even better if we account for their tax benefits.

    By Peter Hayes
  • uploads///a BR
    Company & Industry Overviews

    Why Municipal Bonds Offer Decent Income without Excessive Risk

    Are you struggling to derive decent income without indecent risk from your investments? One perfectly “decent” solution: municipal bonds.

    By Peter Hayes
  • uploads/// Std deviation
    Company & Industry Overviews

    Municipal Bonds Offer a Compelling Counterbalance to Equity Risk

    Peter Hayes continues our Feeling Taxed? series with a look at how tax-exempt municipal bonds provide attractive relative income without an unsavory level of risk.

    By Peter Hayes
  • uploads///Invest in Different Classes of Bonds to Diversify Your Bond Portfolios
    Macroeconomic Analysis

    Own Bonds across Credit Quality to Diversify Your Portfolio

    Adding bonds across credit classes helps diversify your bond portfolio. The weight of each category depends on your risk appetite and the business cycle.

    By Heather Pelant
  • uploads/// year US Treasuries vs municipal bond yields
    Company & Industry Overviews

    Municipal Bonds Offer You More Value Than Treasuries

    If equities (SPY)(IVV) remain volatile due to global cues, municipal bonds could be one of the few reasonable assets remaining.

    By Peter Hayes
  • uploads///PPP in US
    Macroeconomic Analysis

    Will the QPIBs find a place in Congress’ tax reforms?

    News about the proposed QPIBs primarily generated a positive response. The Obama administration proposed new municipal bonds (MUB) (TFI).

    By Surbhi Jain
  • uploads///Part
    Financials

    The economic importance and limitations of the Fed funds rate

    The base rate has been in the range 0% to 0.25% since December 2008, as the Fed tries to spur economic growth following the Great Recession and financial crisis.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Industrials

    Must-know: Do credit spreads only represent credit risk?

    While credit spreads do give you a good picture of the credit risk of one bond compared to another, it’s not the only factor they represent.

    By Surbhi Jain
  • uploads///Public debt excluding inter governmental
    Industrials

    How will a Puerto Rican default affect the municipal bond market?

    Puerto Rico is the third largest municipal bond issuer in the U.S., after California and New York.

    By Surbhi Jain
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