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In Context Newsletter – Winter 2013

With the eleventh hour passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, some might think we have put the fiscal cliff behind us. Unfortunately, this is not the case. While the federal government has temporarily suspended the debt limit until May, without government action the mandatory spending cuts associated with the fiscal cliff will begin in March. With this continued level of uncertainty, it might seem like an unnerving time to remain invested and tempting to try to outguess the market… …Read More.

2012: The Year it Didn’t Happen

Author: Weston Wellington, DFA Judging by the headlines in the financial press, investors spent much of the past year anxiously awaiting one calamity after another that failed to occur. The plunge off the so-called fiscal cliff was averted. The euro zone did not fall apart. China’s economy and stock market did not crash. The bond …Read More.

In Context Newsletter – Fall 2012

For the majority of 2012, events both economic and political have left Americans with more questions than answers. Most investors would agree that recent times have been fraught with uncertainty. How should we approach the uncertainty associated with financial matters, such as what will tax rates be in 2013, or when and how will the Eurozone crisis be resolved? Investors can approach this from three different perspectives. …Read More.

Resolutions for 2013

Overview: Author Carl Richards, director of investor education for the BAM ALLIANCE, shares his views on New Year’s resolutions. The New Year’s holiday is a great time to reflect on what’s really important to us. Spending time with family and friends can help us get focused on where we’re at right now and where we …Read More.

Lessons From 2012

Overview: Each year, author Larry Swedroe, director of research for the BAM ALLIANCE, takes a look back at the investing lessons the markets provided in the past year. Introduction Over the majority of 2012, our collective attention was focused on several events: Our continuing fiscal deficits and our ability to continue to fund them What …Read More.

Managing Municipal Market Credit Risk

Our process for managing credit risk in individual municipal bonds goes well beyond the credit ratings that they are assigned by credit rating agencies. While we believe these ratings have value, and they are one piece of information we consider, we also evaluate other parameters such as the bond issuer’s municipal market sector, municipality revenues …Read More.

The Risks of Yield-Seeking Strategies

In the past few years, some investors have asked us whether they should replace a portion of their high-quality bonds or bond mutual fund holdings with strategies ranging from high-dividend stocks to oil and gas master limited partnerships because “rates are low.” We have generally counseled investors that every one of these strategies involves substantially …Read More.

High-Yield Corporate Bonds as an Asset Class

Vanguard recently announced that it would be closing its high-yield corporate fund “effective immediately” and that the fund had received “approximately $2 billion” of flows over the past six months. While growth of Vanguard’s assets under management is almost always a good thing, a fund shuttering its doors to new flows makes one wonder just …Read More.