The Municipal Bonds Channel

Synchronized Global Growth May Have Arrived

Nearly 10 years after the financial crisis brought the global economy to its knees, conditions have finally improved enough to crystallize my conviction that synchronized global growth is currently underway. Revenue and earnings growth are up year-over-year, not just in the U.S. but worldwide. Despite President Donald Trump threatening to raise tariffs and tear up trade deals, global trade is accelerating. World manufacturing activity expanded to a 78-month high of 53.5 in October, with faster rates recorded in new orders, exports, employment and input prices.

Bonfire of the Absurdities

This week’s letter will take a look at the growing number of ridiculous, inane, and otherwise nonsensical absurdities that fill the daily economic headlines. I have gone from the occasional smile to scratching my head now and then to “WTF” moments several times a week.

Should I Pay Down My Debt?

One of the most common questions we hear from people who have suddenly acquired wealth is, “Should I pay down my debt?” In our view, you should only pay down debt if the costs exceed the benefits.

Gundlach’s Top ETF Recommendation

The money to be made is in non-U.S. markets, according to Jeffrey Gundlach. For long-term investors, he recommends a specific ETF.

Benefiting From Flexibility: Opportunities in Multi‑Sector Credit

As many traditional credit sectors begin to approach full valuations, credit investors may want to look in new directions for attractive returns with manageable downside risk. In diversified credit portfolios today, de-risking and building liquidity are important, but we also see attractive relative value opportunities in a couple of (sometimes overlooked) sectors.

The Importance of Implementation Efficiency

In the second of a three-part series on principles of the low-return imperative, we zero in on the value of efficient implementation—and identify three ways it may help achieve desired outcomes.

Valuation Sensitivity

Has the stock market gotten too expensive? Overall, we would say it hasn't. But we do feel some sectors are better positioned than others.

Fund Managers Get Bullish

Global equities have risen 18% so far in 2017 and yet, until this month, fund managers have held significant amounts of cash and been, at best, only modestly bullish on equities. All of this has suggested lingering risk aversion. That has now changed.

Extra Innings

A review of last month’s market-moving events across countries and asset classes

A Point of Parliamentary Procedure

We have always liked the clip from the movie Animal House where in the “Deltas on Trial” scene the smooth talking Eric “Otter” Stratton get up and says, “Point of parliamentary procedure.” From there Otter goes on a diatribe ending with the comment, “Isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society?

Muni Investors: It’s Time to Quit Smoking Tobacco (Bonds)

Cigarettes come with warning labels. Tobacco bonds should, too. These securities are highly volatile, and at current prices they have nowhere to go but down. There are healthier alternatives in the high-yield municipal bond market.

The Surprising Way the Bond Market Matters for Stocks

Stocks are expensive by most measures. Russ discusses why the bond market can impact whether that can be sustained.

Weighing the Week Ahead: The Millennial Effect on the Housing Market

The economic calendar includes many reports, but few of the most important. I expect the housing market to attract attention. There are several relevant releases on tap, and the sector is especially important. Some will take up a special slant, asking: Will Millennial buyers extend the housing market rebound?

The Central Question for Your Business

Almost 60 years ago, an article appeared in the Harvard Business Review that posed the most important question for any business – and a question that is essential for advisors to address today.

On My Radar: Global Macro Outlook & Probable 7-, 10- and 12-Year Equity Market Returns

This week’s On My Radar is an investment outlook piece. While current trend evidence remains bullish, you’ll see valuation data below that tells us the coming 7-, 10- and 12-year equity market returns are not so good. Your and my clients are expecting 10% forward returns; however, due to extremely high valuations they are likely get 0% to 2%. Trouble spots? There are many.