Typically, one would expect higher-risk assets to generate higher returns. But when it comes to high-yield corporate bonds, indiscriminate exposure to the CCC-and-below category may not produce the expected results. (more…)
With a record tax increase on tap for January 1, 2013, there has never been a better time for Washington to have a serious debate about fiscal policy. Before the economy reaches the so-called fiscal cliff, when huge tax increases and spending cuts are scheduled to take effect, US voters will have the opportunity to make a clear choice between two fiscal visions in the November elections. (more…)
The US Department of Labor’s new 404(a)(5) fee-disclosure rules for defined contribution (DC) plans will provide participants with a lot more information on plan and investment fees—in plain language. That’s a good thing. But there’s a real risk that the new rule may unintentionally drive participants to make poor investment choices. (more…)
The laborious pace of the US recovery has inevitably fostered comparisons with Japan. But we find several reasons why a protracted slump like Japan’s is unlikely, as my colleague Gerry Paul argues below.
In the world of retirement planning, some myths persist, despite continued efforts to debunk them. Below, my colleague Tara Thompson-Popernik discusses a few of the most stubborn myths we encounter. (more…)
Investors fleeing stocks have mostly sought shelter in bonds. That’s understandable, given their relative stability and reliable income. But it’s important to compare long-term expected returns, too.
During the market crisis of 2008–2011, traditional equity style strategies such as value and growth underperformed the markets, often by wide margins. But our research shows that there was a way to diminish the negative impact of market turmoil on portfolio returns. (more…)
While some people deem stocks expensive relative to 10-year trailing earnings, we take a forward-looking approach. It starts with the premise that the stock market is not a casino and stock prices are not pulled out of thin air: they reflect the intrinsic value of companies’ future earnings. (more…)
Tax rates and federal government expenditures are being discussed in Washington. The ultimate result could affect the value of municipal bonds. My colleague Michael Brooks explains. (more…)
With US gift- and estate-tax rates slated to rise on January 1, it may be wise to gift assets before year-end. As my colleague Andrew Auchincloss explains below, you still have a rare (but fleeting) opportunity to transfer wealth tax efficiently.