Municipal Bonds Stay on Track in an Unpredictable Year
Unless otherwise noted, all discussions are based on U.S. markets and U.S. monetary and fiscal policies.
Asset allocation or diversification does not guarantee a profit or protect against loss in declining markets.
No investing strategy can overcome all market volatility or guarantee future results.
The value of investments and any income from them is not guaranteed and may fall as well as rise, and an investor may not get back the amount originally invested. Investment decisions should always be made based on an investor’s specific financial needs, objectives, goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance.
Market forecasts and projections are based on current market conditions and are subject to change without notice.
Projections should not be considered a guarantee.
Fixed-Income Investing Risks
The value of investments in fixed-income securities will change as interest rates fluctuate and in response to market movements. Generally, when interest rates rise, the prices of debt securities fall, and when interest rates fall, prices generally rise. High yield securities, sometimes called junk bonds, carry increased risks of price volatility, illiquidity, and the possibility of default in the timely payment of interest and principal. Bonds may also be subject to other types of risk, such as call, credit, liquidity, and general market risks. Longer-term debt securities are usually more sensitive to interest-rate changes; the longer the maturity of a security, the greater the effect a change in interest rates is likely to have on its price.
The municipal bond market may be impacted by unfavorable legislative or political developments and adverse changes in the financial conditions of state and municipal issuers or the federal government in case it provides financial support to the municipality. Income from the municipal bonds held could be declared taxable because of changes in tax laws. Certain sectors of the municipal bond market have special risks that can affect them more significantly than the market as a whole. Because many municipal instruments are issued to finance similar projects, conditions in these industries can significantly affect an investment. Income from municipal bonds may be subject to the alternative minimum tax. Federal, state, and local taxes may apply. Investments in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories, commonwealths, and possessions may be affected by local, state, and regional factors. These may include, for example, economic or political developments, erosion of the tax base, and the possibility of credit problems.
The credit quality of fixed-income securities in a portfolio is assigned by a nationally recognized statistical rating organization (NRSRO), such as Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, or Fitch, as an indication of an issuer’s creditworthiness. Ratings range from ‘AAA’ (highest) to ‘D’ (lowest). Bonds rated ‘BBB’ or above are considered investment grade. Credit ratings ‘BB’ and below are lower-rated securities (junk bonds). High yielding, non-investment-grade bonds (junk bonds) involve higher risks than investment-grade bonds. Adverse conditions may affect the issuer’s ability to pay interest and principal on these securities.
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Glossary & Index Definitions
General obligation (GO) bonds are backed by the “full faith and credit” of a government and are issued by entities such as states, cities, counties, and school districts. Revenue bonds are backed by revenues from a specific projects or facilities (such as toll roads, water/sewer systems, or airports).
Yield curve is a line that plots the interest rates, at a set point in time, of bonds having equal credit quality, but differing maturity dates.
The Bloomberg Barclays Municipal Bond Index is a rules-based, market-value-weighted index engineered for the long-term, tax-exempt bond market. Bonds must be rated investment grade (Baa3/BBB- or higher) by at least two ratings agencies.
The Bloomberg Barclays High Yield Municipal Bond Index is an unmanaged index consisting of noninvestment-grade, unrated or below Ba1 bonds.
Bloomberg Barclays Index Information:
Source: Bloomberg Index Services Limited. BLOOMBERG® is a trademark and service mark of Bloomberg Finance L.P. and its affiliates (collectively “Bloomberg”). BARCLAYS® is a trademark and service mark of Barclays Bank Plc (collectively with its affiliates, “Barclays”), used under license. Bloomberg or Bloomberg’s licensors, including Barclays, own all proprietary rights in the Bloomberg Barclays Indices. Neither Bloomberg nor Barclays approves or endorses this material or guarantees the accuracy or completeness of any information herein, or makes any warranty, express or implied, as to the results to be obtained therefrom and, to the maximum extent allowed by law, neither shall have any liability or responsibility for injury or damages arising in connection therewith.
Indexes are unmanaged, do not reflect the deduction of fees or expenses, and are not available for direct investment.
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