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INY

The month of May was a generally disappointing stretch for investors, as both international and domestic equity markets struggled to overcome obstacles new and old. Commodities, which had been a nice source of absolute returns for much of the last year, fell on hard times as well; precious metals went into a brief freefall, and most other natural resources saw price declines as well.

May demonstrated the importance of a meaningful allocation to fixed income within any long-term portfolio, as most bond ETFs turned in nice gains during the month. The following tables highlight the best performers from each ETFdb Category during the month of May [ETFdb Pro members can download spreadsheets showing performance and expense data for the entire ETF universe]. [click to continue…]

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Municipal bonds have long been a favorite of those who fall into high tax brackets, as the favorable treatment of dividend and principal payments can translate into an impressive taxable equivalent yield. These debt instruments are issued by state governments and local municipalities, and are generally supported by either the taxing power of the or the revenues expected to be derived from a particular project. Since state and local governments do not regularly default on their obligations, the risk associated with municipal bonds has historically been very low. [click to continue…]

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The reasons for the rise of the ETF industry are numerous: intraday liquidity, (potentially) superior tax efficiency, and enhanced transparency relative to traditional actively-managed mutual funds have all contributed to the billions of dollars of inflows that these funds have seen in recent years. But the real attraction for most ETF investors is the reduced […]

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