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Today’s fixed income environment seems to be turned on its head. It used to be that U.S. Treasuries were thought of as one of the safest possible allocations one could make; whether or not this is still the case, the public perception has certainly shifted. After watching Congress bump up against defaults on more than one occasion, it seems that the confidence that once boosted U.S. debts is beginning to erode. [click to continue…]

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Last week, Wall Street focused its attention on the latest developments on the Fed front as Ben Bernanke testified before the Senate’s Joint Economic Committee in Washington. In his testimony, the chairman reported that the central bank will remain on its current course of action–the $85 billion per month bond purchasing program–though investors may see monetary policy changes in the “near” future. When asked if the Fed had a timeline or plan as to how they will unwind their massive stimulus measures, Bernanke simply replied “I don’t know.” The latest FOMC minutes also reflected the chairman’s uncertainty, stating that a number of participants favored scaling back the bond-buying program, but views differed about what evidence would be necessary to make such a drastic change [see The Cheapest ETF for Every Investment Objective].  [click to continue…]

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Matt Tucker, CFA, is the iShares Head of Fixed Income Strategy and a regular contributor to the iShares Blog.  In an earlier post I examined the mysterious rise in interest rates that we have seen in the first quarter the past few years. Each year we’ve seen rates creep higher from January to March, and […]

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Despite talk of an imminent sharp rise in interest rates, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note is back below 2%. This is more evidence that the much vaunted “Great Rotation” out of bonds has yet to occur. (Otherwise, bond prices would have fallen and yields would have gone up.) The great rotation was always […]

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Fixed income securities have long been a major part of investor portfolios; corporate bonds in particular often hold a key role. In many cases investment-grade corporate bonds can have a “win-win” impact on portfolios, reducing overall volatility while also delivering income. Unfortunately, bonds have some attributes that make them less than ideal for many individual […]

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Some are calling it the banking industry’s “tobacco moment,” while others insist that it is only one example of the widespread and rampant problems plaguing the financial universe. Greed, corruption and collusion are terms often used synonymously with the market movers and money makers on Wall Street, whose voracious appetites seem to blur the lines […]

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Bond ETFs For Every Objective

by on February 1, 2012 | Updated February 5, 2012

As the lineup of exchange-traded products has expanded dramatically in recent years, financial advisors have found themselves with more tools at their disposal than ever before. The extreme granularity of many of the equity products out there allows for cheap, low maintenance targeting of specific corners of the investable universe, while the development of some […]

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The latest addition to the fast-growing ETF lineup is a fund from State Street that will offer exposure to investment grade debt that adjusts interest payouts based on prevailing market conditions. The SPDR Barclays Capital Investment Grade Floating Rate ETF (FLRN) is linked to an index that consists of investment grade debt with a floating […]

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State Street has laid the groundwork for another addition to its lineup of fixed income ETFs, filing details with the SEC for a proposed product that looks to give investors another way to tap into an increasingly popular corner of the U.S. bond market. In the recent regulatory filing, the company detailed plans for the […]

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Using ETFs To Build A Complete Bond Portfolio

by on August 18, 2011 | Updated December 8, 2014

In recent years, ETFs have become increasingly popular tools for accessing the fixed income corner of the market. The space initially grew much more slowly than equity ETFs, but investors have gradually become more comfortable with the combination of fixed income exposure and the exchange-traded structure. Innovation in the bond ETF space has been impressive […]

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Inflation ETF Special: 25 ETF Ideas To Fight Rising Prices

by on July 20, 2011 | Updated December 8, 2014

Inflation has always been a particularly frustrating topic among investors, as a spike in prices can be a nasty surprise for investors who are not amply prepared.  Its effects can reduce your real return on an annual basis and make it much more difficult to keep up with your standard of living. Inflation, however, has not […]

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June was another interesting month for markets around the world as a number of important events transpired over the past few weeks. The Federal Reserve meeting came and went without much of a hitch as Bernanke called for the end of QE at the end of the month but suggested that the economy was still […]

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