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Posts Tagged ‘oil bust’

Thankfully, You Own Municipals

September 9th, 2016 by Kurt L. Smith

While interest rates may appear they will be low, perhaps forever, we are always encouraged when we look back over the past months and years and discover we’ve actually fared well. Municipals are indeed unique and that is why we can continue to scratch and claw, but most importantly make headway by investing in them.

Bonds, particularly municipal bonds have participated in a multi-month rally that was over-extended months ago. As a consequence, we believed stocks would also rally, continuing the tandem performance that has been a hallmark of the financial markets these past thirty-plus years.

Indeed the major stock averages have set many new all-time high marks this summer. Stocks may have a few more months to rally, but the bond rally may be over.  As conviction and certainty for low rates (forever) continued, the bond market appears to have made a top in price that may stand for many, many years. (more…)

Blessed Are Municipals

April 11th, 2016 by Kurt L. Smith

Rare is my newsletter with good things to say.  How about “it is good to be an investor in municipal bonds!”  As I wrote several months back, municipals were one of the top performing sectors last year.  Now we are going to discover how long the ride may be.

I am not recanting my position that Bonds peaked in price (bottomed in yield) way back in 2012.  I stand by my position.  But after a quick swoon in 2013, municipal bond prices have been rising and have remained quite firm (low volatility) as they have made their way back towards the highs of 2012.

Low volatility and rising prices…in this market!?  This is certainly a recipe for those not familiar with municipal bonds to get acquainted.  Municipals appear to be a bright spot, not only in the fixed income markets, but in investing in general. (more…)

Another Step Closer

March 3rd, 2016 by Kurt L. Smith

Markets go up and markets go down.  We all know this.  We should also know that we are fortunate to live in an era in which markets have trended higher for decades.  Unfortunately we now live in an age of asset bubbles with the largest bubbles of all, Stocks and Bonds, on the verge of a massive popping.

We have watched the popping of two asset bubbles over the past several years: According to Bloomberg, Precious Metals (Gold & Silver) and Oil.  Gold peaked in September 2011 at $1920 an ounce, falling 45% over the following four years to a $1046 low.  Silver almost touched $50 an ounce for the second time in its history and sold off to below $14.  Oil peaked at $147 in 2008 but sold at $107 just nineteen months ago and below $27 last month.  Markets do go up and down, but in today’s age of asset bubbles, one must be ever mindful of the tremendous downside risks that exist. (more…)

We Have Top Men Working On It

February 10th, 2016 by Kurt L. Smith

In late January the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee voted to do nothing.  Unfortunately they had to say something and it was that something that reminded me “we have top men working on it.”  Here the top man is a woman, Chairman Janet Yellen.

The Fed’s luster was destined to pale from the days in 2000 when Chairman Alan Greenspan was dubbed Maestro for his deft maneuverings.  Chairman Ben Bernanke was Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2009, having saved the world, or at least us, from certain financial ruin.

So from Chairman Yellen we ask “what have you done for us lately?”  Stocks swooned in August but recovered by December only to have the Federal Reserve vote to hike interest rates for the first time in ten years.  Now that stocks have swooned again to begin 2016 we find the Fed to be hesitant in its plans to normalize, I mean raise, short-term interest rates. (more…)

NEWS FEED

The $247 trillion global debt bomb washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-2…