White Papers

On Sunday, sovereign leaders and climate activists will gather in Glasgow for the UN’s 26th Conference of the Parties, or “COP26”. The nearly two-week long event will seek to meaningfully advance climate discussions and set the world on track to reduce global carbon emissions in line with the Paris Agreement.
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In the current environment of low interest rates and bond yields, investors seeking income might consider looking to dividend-paying stocks as an investment option. History has shown that investing in dividend-paying stocks not only provides shareholders with income, but also has been an attractive investment strategy in terms of total return and as a complement to fixed income investments. 

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Turmoil may not be a strong enough word to describe this past week in the financial markets. U.S. equities have fallen at an unprecedented rate, resulting in a loss of over $5 trillion of value from its peak (14% of market value).

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History was made on August 14, 2019, with the recording of the lowest closing yield (2.02%), on the 30-year U.S. Treasury since regular auctions began in 1977. The previous lowest closing yield (2.099%) was recorded on July 8, 2016.

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Since its origination in 1986, the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) has been a standard benchmark for short-term rates. LIBOR is reset daily based on submissions from a collection of contributing banks. These banks submit yields at which they believe they could obtain short-term loans from other banks. The average rate sets the benchmark for floating rate securities and other financial transactions. 

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Tax rates are an important consideration in fixed income asset allocations. Many investors in high tax brackets assume they should be invested entirely in tax-free municipal bonds, while tax-exempt investors (e.g. foundations, pensions funds) ignore tax-free bonds altogether. In both cases, investors would be better served to consider a more balanced approach, focusing on the potential after-tax return and risk of all fixed income sectors.

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