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How the Fed Impacts Your Investments

how the fed affects your investments

The financial media loves talking about changes in the target for the Federal Funds Rate. What the financial media want to talk about and what actually matters don’t overlap much. Let’s take a look at how changes in the Federal Funds Rate actually impact your investments.

What Do TIPS Tell Us About Future Inflation Rates?

Today, I want to talk about what TIPS can tell us about inflation. Exhibit 1 shows the TIPS yield curve for January 3, 2017. Yields are negative for TIPS maturing prior to 2022, and positive beyond that, although the longest ones do not even reach 1%. The Treasury stopped issuing thirty-year TIPS in the early 2000s and, more recently, eliminated twenty-year TIPS. That is why you see gaps in the yield curve—represented by dashed lines in the exhibit—with no TIPS maturity in 2030-31 and 2033-39.

How Far Should You Trust Market Models?

We use models all the time. We are constantly making decisions based on them – everything from simple heuristics (nachos taste good), all the way up to (and including) quantum mechanics. They’re great tools for helping us understand and make sense of the world. But it’s important to understand their limitations and the dangers of […]

The Investment TIPS You Should Care About

The U.S. began issuing Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) in 1997. Backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government and assurances that inflation cannot eat away at their value, TIPS provide a risk-free asset for U.S.-based investors.

What Is The Bond Yield Curve?

Understanding the relationship between bond risk and time to maturity and duration of a bond provides the basis for understanding the bond yield curve. The yield curve shows the yields to maturity for a series of bonds — typically U.S. Treasury bonds — with the same credit quality but different maturity dates, along with the term structure for interest rates.

What Bond Liability Means For Your Retirement Plan

Bond prices are sensitive to interest rate changes, and bond duration is a measure of just how sensitive. For instance, if a increase in interest rates from 2% to 3% caused a bond’s price to fall by 8.5%, the bond would have a duration of 8.5, meaning that a 1% rise in interest rates leads to an 8.5% drop in price.

Do You Need to Diversify Your Bonds?

We spend a lot of time talking about the importance of diversification. We have to look at bonds a little differently; they come with different risks than stocks.

3 Ways To Incorporate Bonds Into Your Retirement Strategy

Bonds can be incorporated directly into a retirement strategy in three broad ways:
1. An assets-only approach to build a total returns investment portfolio,
2. Matching the duration of bond funds to the duration of the retirement liability, and
3. Holding individual bonds to maturity to generate the desired cash flows to fund expenses on an ongoing basis throughout retirement.

Understanding Bond Returns

Bonds may not be as flashy as stocks, but they form the bedrock of your portfolio, so you should understand how they work.

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