White Papers

Over the last ten weeks, retail investors have pulled over $20 billion out of municipal bond mutual funds, a record level of selling. It seems as though the barrage of negative headlines about state financial conditions, along with negative comments from market pundits, pushed the selling into overdrive. While the environment today is no doubt less hospitable for municipal credit, the availability of many solid municipal obligations at inexpensive valuations provides attractive opportunities for tax-paying bond investors.

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Bond market indices consist of all securities issued that fit a particular rule set. Every bond issued that meets the criteria of the Index is included for as long as it meets the Index’s specific requirements. This piece covers the various ways indices change composition, reflecting debt market activity, and reminds readers that a dynamic approach to benchmark selections is necessary to maintain stable investment targets.

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Credit markets have been under pressure recently from a myriad of sources – higher short-term interest rates, weaker than expected economic data and credit downgrades, including the two largest credit issuers, General Motors and Ford. In order to assess possible future paths for the credit market, it’s helpful to review the terrain we have recently traveled. In this piece we revisit the credit markets over the past few years and analyze the prospects for future performance based on current conditions.

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