Bond Rally???

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bankwannabe's picture
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I've been hearing a lot of whispers around my office about an upcoming long-term bond rally.  I am 2 years into the business, and have since grown quite comfortable with what moves the equity markets.  On the flipside, I feel that my bond knowledge is still somewhat rudimentary relative to equities.  I understand yield curve, duration, etc. etc....but what is it that TRULY drives a bond rally?  Technical analysis is an easy answer considering the bearish bond market over the past 2 years...needless do say, how do you guys feel about a bond rally, and what would be the underlying factors to support this?  And...why high credit quality vs. junk?  Thanks!
 

bankrep1's picture
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bankwannabe wrote: I've been hearing a lot of whispers around my office about an upcoming long-term bond rally.  I am 2 years into the business, and have since grown quite comfortable with what moves the equity markets.  On the flipside, I feel that my bond knowledge is still somewhat rudimentary relative to equities.  I understand yield curve, duration, etc. etc....but what is it that TRULY drives a bond rally?  Technical analysis is an easy answer considering the bearish bond market over the past 2 years...needless do say, how do you guys feel about a bond rally, and what would be the underlying factors to support this?  And...why high credit quality vs. junk?  Thanks!
 

bankwannabee,

Trust me after 2 years you have no idea how the equity markets move yet.

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bankrep1 wrote: bankwannabe wrote:
I've been hearing a lot of whispers around my office about an upcoming long-term bond rally.  I am 2 years into the business, and have since grown quite comfortable with what moves the equity markets.  On the flipside, I feel that my bond knowledge is still somewhat rudimentary relative to equities.  I understand yield curve, duration, etc. etc....but what is it that TRULY drives a bond rally?  Technical analysis is an easy answer considering the bearish bond market over the past 2 years...needless do say, how do you guys feel about a bond rally, and what would be the underlying factors to support this?  And...why high credit quality vs. junk?  Thanks
bankwannabee, Trust me after 2 years you have no idea how the equity markets move yet.
That's right.  As we all know Earnings Always Go Up, and as a result so do stock prices.  A stock market crash is impossible.

Philo Kvetch's picture
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NASD Newbie wrote:bankrep1 wrote: bankwannabe wrote:
I've been hearing a lot of whispers around my office about an upcoming long-term bond rally.  I am 2 years into the business, and have since grown quite comfortable with what moves the equity markets.  On the flipside, I feel that my bond knowledge is still somewhat rudimentary relative to equities.  I understand yield curve, duration, etc. etc....but what is it that TRULY drives a bond rally?  Technical analysis is an easy answer considering the bearish bond market over the past 2 years...needless do say, how do you guys feel about a bond rally, and what would be the underlying factors to support this?  And...why high credit quality vs. junk?  Thanks
bankwannabee, Trust me after 2 years you have no idea how the equity markets move yet.
That's right.  As we all know Earnings Always Go Up, and as a result so do stock prices.  A stock market crash is impossible.

You still here, shi*t-fer-brains?
With your self-proclaimed market acumen, why aren't you out shorting everything in sight?
Gee, when the markets all tank, you could probably double what you're making on eBay!

bankrep1's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

Corrections happen, it is weird that over the last 3 years we didn't have one, but things are changing back to normal, a permanent crash will never happen assuming our economy continues to function as it does today.

Go make E-trade rich.

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bankrep1 wrote:Corrections happen, it is weird that over the last 3 years we didn't have one, but things are changing back to normal, a permanent crash will never happen assuming our economy continues to function as it does today. Go make E-trade rich.
What is a "Permanent Crash?"

Philo Kvetch's picture
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NASD Newbie wrote:
bankrep1 wrote:Corrections happen, it is weird that over the last 3 years we didn't have one, but things are changing back to normal, a permanent crash will never happen assuming our economy continues to function as it does today. Go make E-trade rich.
What is a "Permanent Crash?"

An example would be your career in the financial services industry.

blarmston's picture
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The bond market is in the midst of beginning a healthy time period of total return. In my opinion, now is an ideal time to place money with capable bond money managers (such as Dan Fuss at Loomis Sayles). Depending on where you look, there are decent yields to be found, and if the Fed considers cutting rates sometime next year (possibly Q1 or Q2 2007), the total return aspect which involves price appreciation should take hold.
There are also good areas in international bonds- even with their impressive performance in recent years ( and also a play on the potential continuing devaluation of our dollar). Regarding credit quality, I feel its important to place money with managers who have the ability to diversify across qualities. Perhaps 70% investment grade and 30% lower quality to get a slightly higher yield ( even though spreads have come in- some junk is a good thing in order to diversify risk, etc).
 

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blarmston wrote:
Perhaps 70% investment grade and 30% lower quality to get a slightly higher yield ( even though spreads have come in- some junk is a good thing in order to diversify risk, etc).

Let me see if I have this right.  An investor should accept lower rated bonds because diversifying out of high quality is good, even though there is virtually no yield pick up?

Philo Kvetch's picture
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Hey Putsy!
Tell the story about blowing up the widow with bonds when you were in production.  That should establish your bona fides as an authority on debt instruments!

Soothsayer's picture
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I have been a buyer of various federal agency bonds with 4-10 maturities with rates between 5.50 and 6.375 percent.  As an answer to the original post, don't try to be perfect.  Just buy quality at the right price.  Now may not be the best time, but it certainly is not a bad time.

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Sooth/Blar,
Thanks for the input, this is what I was looking for. 
Bankrep, you are clearly an a$$hole, and are not welcome in my posts.  If you knew the first thing about the progression of my business, you would feel stupid about opening your mouth.  I am not particularly upset by what you posted here, but by your pompous, arrogant attitude in all of your posts.  Actually, I should be happy for Bankrep's like you, because when an affluent client that actually has a clue comes into my branch, they are almost floored when I don't try to sell them a VA.  Needless to say I think the negative reputation associated with bank reps stems directly from people like yourself, and probably outweighs the benefit I outlined in my previous sentence. 
"Well Mr. Client, unfortunately what BankRep1 neglected to inform you is that
1)  The fees associated with this annuity erode your return to the tune of an additional 1.5 to 2.0% per year.
2)  Even though you only have $1000 in your checking account, you only have access to 10% of your $200,000 VA.  Unfortunately, if you withdrawal all 10%, you will void all living and death benefits which are currently limited to only 5% withdrawals.
3)  Yes, you are deferring taxes.  And when you withdrawal from your annuity, you are pulling out gains first.  This means oftentimes everything you pull out is taxable, so while you should probably only be paying capital gains on most of this money, you have to pay 25% in taxes and potentially increase your tax bracket.  So not only will you void the living and death benefits with your $20,000 withdrawal, but oh yeh, you are going to owe back taxes on your earned income to date as well.  Sorry!
Equity rally to December...then switch to bonds!  Oppenheimer PA Muni is my personal favorite......

bankrep1's picture
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With your big 2 years in the business, I am sure you're knocking em' dead whatya up to 6 AUM, I bet you are dealing with lot's of affluent clients at what 24. You're right I should be damn jealous, will you be my new mentor.

Hey kid, you don't have a fukin clue.

bankrep1's picture
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Why does everyone think I sell VA's all day? I defend them because they are a useful misunderstood tool in the right situations, but I use MF's, ETF's mostly, for the record.

Soothsayer's picture
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bankrep1 wrote:Why does everyone think I sell VA's all day?
Because you work at a bank, jackass! 

rankstocks's picture
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-Sold over 500k of a Prudential A-rated structured note that was 15 year maturity with a 3 year call protection and an estate feature paying 6.5%. 
-Time to load up on medium term corps and mortgage backed notes, as well as medium and long term muni's.  Rates are about to peak, so it's time to ladder out your client's maturities.
-I love it, time to lock in 6.5% or better for clients in investment grade paper and watch the cash just roll in.  A good rate on a quality bond is like printing money.

blarmston's picture
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"Let me see if I have this right.  An investor should accept lower rated bonds because diversifying out of high quality is good, even though there is virtually no yield pick up?"
Di-ver-sif-i-ca-tion.... In this current marketplace, it is prudent to diversify a clients bond portfolio... RIGHT NOW, there is little incentive to invest a large proportion into lower quality bonds... At some point, the spread between 10 year AAA's and junk will normalize and the potnetial for extra yield pickup will be worth it.
The key is Putsy.... You must be able to anticipate this scenario... By the time you notice the spread increasing, the bond market has already picked it up 6 months earlier and you get in in the 8th inning....
Hey Putsy, ask you wife if you can invest some of your IRA in junk bonds.... I could even recommend a couple ideas for you- but you're a waste and an embarassment to my home city....

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blarmston wrote:
Di-ver-sif-i-ca-tion.... In this current marketplace, it is prudent to diversify a clients bond portfolio... RIGHT NOW, there is little incentive to invest a large proportion into lower quality bonds... At some point, the spread between 10 year AAA's and junk will normalize and the potnetial for extra yield pickup will be worth it.
The key is Putsy.... You must be able to anticipate this scenario... By the time you notice the spread increasing, the bond market has already picked it up 6 months earlier and you get in in the 8th inning....

If you believe that the yield differential between high quality and low quality bonds is going to widen you do not want to own the junk, because in order for the yield on the junk to end up higher than the yields on the higher quality the values of both must move in the opposite directions.
Changes in yields can only favor the junk segment of your portfolio if prices change in a way that favors the junk.
If prices are falling the junk will yield more if the junk is falling faster--but if you already own the bonds and they are falling faster that is not good.
If prices are rising the junk will yield more if the junk is not rising as fast--but if you already own the bonds and they are rising it is not good to own the junk.
It is wrong to buy junk when there is virtually no difference between junk and high quality yields--regardless of what may happen later.  You're suppose to wait till later to buy the junk.
How embarassed you must be.

blarmston's picture
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Actually... not really too embarassed... That situation would apply if you were to invest an old lady's life savings into 10 individual junk bond issues. Owning the junk bond latter would have that negative outcome...
Thats why I place anywhere from 20-30% of the fixed income allocation into lower quality bonds, and that money goes to a capable money manager to handles those decisions... Duration, maturity, sector rotation, cash positions, etc- they are all handled by a professional who better knows the current junk environment. I still say that a small portion of the clients OVERALL allocation should still be devoted to high yield bonds... Just depends on how much...
Blowing up an old ladies portfolio w/ individual bonds... Profiting from insider trading back in the 70's... Being an arrogant old man on the downward path of his meaningless life... These are all things I havent done and will try not to become...
How embarassed you must be...

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I am not the fool who claims to be on the leading edge of the bond market by buying junk when there is essentially no difference between junk and high quality.
Why would you say something like that, unless you are woefully ignorant of the business?

blarmston's picture
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"I am not the fool who claims to be on the leading edge of the bond market by buying junk when there is essentially no difference between junk and high quality."
Now I know you have some time on your hands.... So go back through the archives and find me the quote where I state that I am "on the leading edge of the bond market"... If you miscontrue my comment about anticipating a potential spread widening of yields, then you can hang on to that interpretation.
Other than that, you may be quiet now old man.

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blarmston wrote:
"I am not the fool who claims to be on the leading edge of the bond market by buying junk when there is essentially no difference between junk and high quality."
Now I know you have some time on your hands.... So go back through the archives and find me the quote where I state that I am "on the leading edge of the bond market"... If you miscontrue my comment about anticipating a potential spread widening of yields, then you can hang on to that interpretation.
Other than that, you may be quiet now old man.

Poor Blarmston, embarassment is such a trick emotion.
So sad, too bad.

blarmston's picture
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Newbs....
You have yet to bring up my quote... So instead you imagine an ideal emotion that you would like me to have based on your comments, and then you take pity on that imagined emotion...
Your mind works in wonderful ways.

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blarmston wrote:
Newbs....
You have yet to bring up my quote... So instead you imagine an ideal emotion that you would like me to have based on your comments, and then you take pity on that imagined emotion...
Your mind works in wonderful ways.

Are you saying you are proud that you don't understand the bond market?

Philo Kvetch's picture
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NASD Newbie wrote:blarmston wrote:
Newbs....
You have yet to bring up my quote... So instead you imagine an ideal emotion that you would like me to have based on your comments, and then you take pity on that imagined emotion...
Your mind works in wonderful ways.

Are you saying you are proud that you don't understand the bond market?

This from the pinhead who brags about the time he blew up a widow with his choice of bonds, during his short, but illustrious career in production.
Put, do you think for even a moment before you post your ridiculous tripe?  Are you even capable of rational thought?

bankrep1's picture
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Soothsayer wrote: bankrep1 wrote:Why does everyone think I sell VA's all day?
Because you work at a bank, jackass! 

So if you work at a wirehouse I should assume your a stock jockey?

blarmston's picture
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"Are you saying you are proud that you don't understand the bond market?"
Its hilarious how predictable Put's responses are. Whenever faced with a rebuttal that he cant handle, or whenever someone points out an inefficiency in his posts, he resorts to a "are you proud that you cant type?" or a "are you proud to not understand or have a grasp of....?" sort of comment. Or he will either ignore the retort and focus in on something else to try and pick apart.
Quite amusing.

Devoted SA's picture
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You mean like posting MORE pictures of Mr Wiggles?

blarmston's picture
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Or he will simply restate his question, thinking that when the other party doesnt answer, that his superior intellect has gained an advantage.
He probably drifts off to sleep at night replaying all his internet "victories" gained during his busy, fun filled day on this forum.

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blarmston wrote:
"Are you saying you are proud that you don't understand the bond market?"
Its hilarious how predictable Put's responses are. Whenever faced with a rebuttal that he cant handle, or whenever someone points out an inefficiency in his posts, he resorts to a "are you proud that you cant type?" or a "are you proud to not understand or have a grasp of....?" sort of comment. Or he will either ignore the retort and focus in on something else to try and pick apart.
Quite amusing.

I am not the one who said that buying junk bonds when the yield curve differentials was narrow was appropriate, and that if one waited till the differential had widened they would miss a move worth taking part in.
Your strategy is a guaranteed loser, regardless of how you try to spin it.
As I said, you should be embarassed strutting a basic lack of intellect as if it was something to be sought.
How many tmies did you fail Series 7?

blarmston's picture
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83 on 7- first time playa.....
As for our exciting dialogue, lets consider a recent example. A client who has 300K in cash came to my partner and I. He is recently retired and has a 2.6M Rollover IRA at Vanguard, as well as 600K in cash at B of A. He realized he needed help in structuring a retirement distribution strategy. We met with him and conducted an asset allocation analysis, and determined that approximately 40% of the IRA should be positioned into fixed income. Of that, we are investing 15% of the FI portion into an actively managed high yield fund (Margie Patel at Pioneer if you care to know).
Now the total value of 15% of 40% is $156K to high yield. That represents 6% of the total IRA and only 4.5% of his entire investable assets.
Now good ol Margie has the ability to wander a bit. She currently has about 65% in high yielding bonds, about 25% in convertibles, and about 10% in high-dividend yielding stocks. Her track record speaks for herself in that she has the ability to rotate into asset classes based on here teams anlaysis and outlook.
I place a certain percentage into High Yield because it is a viable asset class to be in long term.
I have not stated that I am the bond master, or that I can predict bond market moves. I simply know that right now junk looks unattractive relative to treasuries. That will change. And by the time people recognize this, the bond pro's have already been aware of this change, and their portfolios have been positioned accordingly say 6 months before the masses find out.
Good night Putsy- Love you old man........

Philo Kvetch's picture
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C'mon, Putsy!  Tell the bond story.
You remember...you blew up some poor widow and her son was going to sue.  And you were going to let your former assistant take the fall!  LOL!  That's a real knee-slapper!

Soothsayer's picture
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So if you work at a wirehouse I should assume your a stock jockey?
I don't work at a wirehouse.  Nice try, though.

bankrep1's picture
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Well do you make that assumption of those who do work at wirehouses?

blarmston's picture
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I was completely expecting to see a post forom the old man at 4:37am EST waiting for me this morning. Either he's dead or his med's havent kicked in yet....

bankwannabe's picture
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The knocks on Newbie are terrific, keep it coming blarmston, I like what you have to say.  Your allocation review strategy for bringing in new assets is solid as well.  How many times do you come across client that are simply unhappy with their volatility, more then likely because their allocation is too heavily weighted in one asset class?  It is so simple, but I guess most reps just gather assets and do not think to review the allocation to ensure it is continually in accordance with their life changes.  What a basic concept.....

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blarmston wrote:I was completely expecting to see a post forom the old man at 4:37am EST waiting for me this morning. Either he's dead or his med's havent kicked in yet....
I'm sure it was a disappointment, but I spent the day travelling.

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Having lived through several up and down swings of interest rates I only have hindsight to go by.  My current book is approximately 35% of individual bond holdings of commercial, muni and government issues.  Many of these bond holdings are/were long term issues that the clients bought 6 years ago or so carrying coupons anywhere from 5.75 to 8% on the corporates and 4.75 to 6.75% on the munis.  I have been moving my clients out of the longer term lower yielding bonds while we are still at Par or close to it.  We are holding anything 7% and up and especially the non callable issues which are still considerably above par.
I am buying short term (5 yr to 7yr) Freddie Step up notes for those clients who truly have a monthly income need. Beginning about 1 1/2 yrs ago I also moved many of my income clients into Floating Rate funds and for the more aggressive income clients into income ETFs when the rates were just beginning to be bumped.  
I don't like junk bonds right now as the reward for risk ratio is not adequate.  I really think that buying an individual issue longer that 5 years is not prudent.   Intermediate and Short Term Bond Funds might be ok as long as your client is aware that they will see a drop in principal every time the Fed jumps the rate and they plan to hold for at least 5 years.  I don't see much point in having these funds.  
For my muni clients who still need tax free I am going with some Funds and ETFs.  The problem is for those who are subject to AMT and have to make sure the fund is AMT friendly or just go ahead and swap bonds into other new issues and plan on watching and swapping again soon as the rates continue to climb.
If there is a bond rally, meaning rates will drop and currently owned bonds will appreciate, it might help some of my clients who are under par now get back up and help those that we have been repositioning to gain capital.  I don't believe we are looking at a bond rally anytime soon, which is why I am hedging with short term step notes and floating rate funds and repositioning my REITs (I expect to see declining income from those in the near future with vacancies and defaults in their portfolios)
The knocks on Newbie are terrific, As to this, it is all fun and games to poke at people, I do it too , but you really need to occasionally listen.   

Philo Kvetch's picture
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NASD Newbie wrote:
blarmston wrote:I was completely expecting to see a post forom the old man at 4:37am EST waiting for me this morning. Either he's dead or his med's havent kicked in yet....
I'm sure it was a disappointment, but I spent the day travelling.

Great!  Did you finally find work?

blarmston's picture
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"I'm sure it was a disappointment, but I spent the day travelling."
Good for you buddy. That pension check hit the bank account this morning did it??? So you rounded up the old lady and the mutt and hopped on the subway for a fun filled day at the community pool did ya??? Swimming in those infested waters with the rest of the lower east side while snacking on some cheese nips for lunch??? Maybe afterwards you went over to Chinatown and got into some verbal bickering with a street vendor over a $8 knockoff Chanel watch for the 'ol ball and chain?
God, that sounds like fun... I cant wait to be like you.........

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looney - I wouldn't have started the thread if I did not have intentions of listening (reading...) and soaking in all the information.  I appreciate everything you have put down and your insight on the bond market.  I also have been using some floating rate (Hartford) to sub for Bond Positions as well.  If the Fed pauses post-August, I will take a harder look at some shorter-duration funds as well.   
 
 

Starka's picture
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bank, don't predicate what you'll do upon what the Fed does in August or any other month.  The Fed is trying to rein in inflation--nothing more.  Although rates do generally go up when the Fed moves up and vice versa, at the end of the day it's the markets that set the return.  If your client needs income, give 'em income, the best and highest that you can find, along with the usual caveat about price movements.  Don't chase rates...you'll drive yourself and your clients nuts.
Just my $.02.

TexasRep's picture
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NASD Newbie wrote:
blarmston wrote:I was completely expecting to see a post forum the old man at 4:37am EST waiting for me this morning. Either he's dead or his med's haven't kicked in yet....
I'm sure it was a disappointment, but I spent the day traveling.

hope you're enjoying the diversion as much as we are.....
you've become THE lightning rod of about everyone in this forum, maybe (hopefully) you'll find that (posting) a little less, is more..........
 

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Starka - I agree with you in part - I should have clarified.  My strategies focus on two parts - 1 is an asset allocation model based on objective and tolerance.  This is where we develop a longer-term allocation strategy and stick with it, which to my knowledge is going to be the best "sure" way to create long-term solid performance.  Naturally we review the allocations yearly (along with performance quarterly) to ensure that the objectives are in line with the current allocation; any change in allocation simply means more weight in any given asset class per the change in allocation.  What I meant before when I said "take a harder look" was more for the tactical portion of my portfolio, which is more of an actively traded portion.  I haven't used too many bonds here or bond funds, but have used a lot of floating rate.  The last thing I want to do for my clients is fall into that class of people...you know... "the average return of x mutual fund over the past 3 years was 15%, while the average return of all mutual fund investors was 6%".........that class. 

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Just to add to that - the allocation model generally accounts for over 80% of the overall portfolio. 

blarmston's picture
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So what tactical plays are you currently buying into? With the other 20%, other than floating rates, what areas have you idfentified as being opportunities? And why?

Indyone's picture
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Closed end muni funds due to relative value.  Yields are about 6% and many are trading at discounts to NAV.

troll's picture
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NASD Newbie wrote:
How many tmies did you fail Series 7?

Just out of curiosity, Putsy, but how many months did you actually spend in the trenches, in production, making face to face  decisions with clients? I have a feeling some of us are wearing T-shirts that have more time in an FA’s chair than you do…...<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

troll's picture
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Indyone wrote:Closed end muni funds due to relative value.  Yields are about 6% and many are trading at discounts to NAV.
Most closed end munis with yeilds that high are leveraged, does than concern you?

tjc45's picture
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Starka wrote:
bank, don't predicate what you'll do upon what the Fed does in August or any other month.  The Fed is trying to rein in inflation--nothing more.  Although rates do generally go up when the Fed moves up and vice versa, at the end of the day it's the markets that set the return.  If your client needs income, give 'em income, the best and highest that you can find, along with the usual caveat about price movements.  Don't chase rates...you'll drive yourself and your clients nuts.
Just my $.02.

Usually a good way to go. Most income clients are looking to keep it simple.

babbling looney's picture
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mikebutler222 wrote:
Indyone wrote:Closed end muni funds due to relative value.  Yields are about 6% and many are trading at discounts to NAV.
Most closed end munis with yeilds that high are leveraged, does than concern you?

It concerns me. 
That's why I only put my most aggressive income investors into this type of fund.  The client's who can stand the heat and possible volatility in a leveraged ETF.  And at that we only have a portion of fixed assets there.
By the way, for the newer guys, there is also a lot of risk in those Floating Rate funds. Many of those are leveraged too.

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