The Municipal Bonds Channel

On My Radar: Handle with Extreme Care

“As I was waiting to be introduced, I got the latest headline from the North Korean government saying ‘a super preemptive strike will reduce the United States to ashes.’ So we have that to look forward to.” Ian Bremmer said as he began his presentation yesterday afternoon at the iShares Multi-Asset Summit in New York City."

Angst in America, Part 5: The Crisis We Can’t Muddle Through

There is one problem that is very definitely coming our way that I really don’t think we can Muddle Through and where even the middle-of-the-road scenarios are terrible, and that’s the public pension crisis. I really see no way it can end well. It’s going to hurt just about everyone.

The Case for Listed Infrastructure: Strengthening the Foundation for the Global Economy

The sorry state of US infrastructure was a major talking point during the 2016 US presidential election, and was seen as one of the few areas that could garner bipartisan political support. But certainly, the need for infrastructure is a global issue that can offer a bridge to economic growth, particularly in emerging markets. Here, the Franklin Real Asset Advisors team builds a case for investing in infrastructure-related securities

The Reserve, Part II The US Dollar: Still the Cleanest Dirty Shirt?

Is the dollar losing its grip on its status as the world’s reserve currency?

Finding an Alternative Return Stream in a Traditional Place

With over 30,000 individual issuers and one million distinct securities, the supply of municipal bonds is highly fragmented.

Return, Risk, and Diversification

When assessing a portfolio and determining their asset class mix, investors often allocate large portion to equities as this is believed to have a much better longer-term investment return profile than “bonds,” while “bonds” are considered less risky and offer a diversification benefit to a portfolio.

A House Divided

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


While the world's superpowers reposition their military strength toward the borders of North Korea, the financial markets look to be following closely in their wake and reordering their asset weighting toward one of less risk.

On My Radar: Fundamentally Bipolar; Fed Tightening Cycles – Past and Present

Many years ago I created an economic investment dashboard of sorts to help me do my best to keep my head screwed on straight. If you subscribe to a handful of research services, you know what I mean. For every 10 bulls, there are 10 bears.

Angst in America, Part 4: Disappearing Pensions

Today, in what will be the first of at least two and possibly more letters focusing on pensions, we’ll begin to examine that angst in more detail. The mounting problems of US and European pension systems are massive on a scale that is nearly incomprehensible.

Fiscal Policy and the Muni Market: Five Areas to Watch

We examine the potential effects of Trump’s tax and infrastructure proposals on the muni market.

Why Reinsurance Belongs in Client Portfolios

My firm recently approved a new alternative investment, one that until recently was only available through hedge funds, the Stone Ridge Reinsurance Risk Premium Interval Fund (SRRIX).

Amid Global Uncertainty, Pay Attention to this Manufacturing Index

Fresh purchasing manager’s index (PMI) readings for the month of March were also released, showing continued manufacturing sector expansion in the world’s largest economies, including the U.S., China and the eurozone. All of Zurich was under construction, it seemed, with cranes filling the skyline in every direction. And when I flew back into San Antonio, sections of the international airport were also under heavy construction. This all reflects strong local and national economic growth in Switzerland and the U.S.

Dividend Stocks, Munis, MLPs and other News in Income Investing

Dividend stocks and closed-end MLP funds are two options for income-oriented investors in an uncertain market, while bonds offer retirees less equity risk and additional income.

Patience Is a Virtue (Especially in Municipal Bond Investing)

It is St. Patrick’s Day and I am thinking of my grandmother, who used to make the most horrific corned beef and cabbage every Wednesday night; the corned beef had a metallic sheen. So when I am offered corned beef and cabbage on this day I always shudder and decline.