Structured CDs: Buyer Beware!

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structured-cd-pngMost investors are familiar with Certificates of Deposit (CDs). You purchase one, and the bank pays you a bit of interest on it, plus your principal back at the end of the term and they are FDIC insured. They don’t yield much, but they’re nearly as dependable as it gets. As such, CDs can often serve as sensible tools for offsetting the risk inherent to pursuing higher expected returns in the stock ...

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Fixed Income Investing: Avoid Chasing Yield

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yield curve

In a recent Financial TIP series, “Investing for Retirement Income,” we covered the reasons why we do not recommend fully shifting into high-yield (“junk”) bonds or dividend-yielding stocks when higher-quality bonds aren’t delivering as hoped for. Rather than stretching for extra yield with stand-alone solutions, we typically suggest taking a total-return approach, seeking an appropriate risk/reward balance among all sources for earning and preserving ...

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Investing for Retirement Income: Part II: High-Yield Bonds

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pie-chart

 

In Part I of our three-part series on investing for retirement income in a low-rate environment, we explained why we don’t advise bulking up on dividend-yielding stocks as a reliable way to generate retirement cash flow. Like the Three Little Pigs’ straw house, dividend-yielding stocks can disappoint you by exhibiting inherent risks just when you most need dependability instead.

Another popular tactic is to ...

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Is Yellen Moving on Up

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fed reserve pic

The U.S. Federal Reserve (the Fed) has held the federal funds rate at nearly zero percent, seeking to bolster an ailing economy in the aftermath of the Great Recession since December 2008. Economists agree that the position is unusual, and highly unlikely to go on forever – drastic times called for drastic measures. Then again, they’ve been agreeing on that for seven years. Each year, the Fed has had ...

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The Role of Fixed Income

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bonds

 

Janet Yellen and the Fed have been front page news this summer. Anyone who is keeping even a casual eye on financial headlines is aware that fixed income returns have been a moving target. The overwhelming consensus was that the tightening cycle would begin in June and that interest rates would rise sooner rather than later. When the Fed ultimately acts will the yield curve steepen or flatten? When, by how much ...

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