Posts belonging to Category Municipal Bonds

More Risks Ahead for Muni Investors


Stockton, California, the most recent U.S. city to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, has presented serious issues about whether municipal bondholders will be forced to take a “haircut” while Stockton pensioners do not. With 300,000 residents, Stockton is the largest U.S. city in history to file bankruptcy.  Stockton has total outstanding debt of over […]

Most of the Yield from Muni Bonds is Illusory


Allan S. Roth prefers low-cost diversified bond funds for investors seeking the best interest yields on their investments. Mr. Roth, the noted financial planner and Wall Street Journal contributor, periodically reviews clients’ portfolios and makes recommendations.  Sometimes the only thing a client wants to keep is the municipal bond manager who seems to be producing […]

Be Careful When Considering Municipal Bonds


A recent Wall Street Journal column advises money managers not to put more client money in municipal bonds. The column sets forth a number of risks and problems that it urged money managers to consider before placing clients’ money in these investments. First, municipal bonds’ tax-exempt status may be in political jeopardy (“Morning Call: Advisers […]

Illinois Settles SEC Fraud Charges


The SEC has charged the State of Illinois with securities fraud for misleading municipal bond investors between 2005 and early 2009.  According to the SEC, Illinois failed to disclose the impact of structural underfunding of its pension system in connection with the offer and sale of more than $2.2 billion worth of municipal bonds.  The […]

Municipal Bonds Plummet


The lowest yields in 40 years and concern over their tax-exempt status sent municipal bonds into their worst monthly decline since 2010, according to InvestmentNews (“Munis take worst pounding since Meredith Whitney”). As of December 21, municipals were on track to lose 1.9 per cent of their market value for the month. Thanks to the […]

Tread Carefully in Municipal Bonds


Municipal bonds may be sailing into the “perfect storm.” Municipal bonds and bond funds have declined rather sharply in recent days. While these investments have been considered very low risk in the past, a number of factors have combined increase their risk and to drive yields up and prices down. Those factors include a large […]

Are Municipal Bonds Headed for a ‘Train Wreck?’


CNNMoney’s well-respected senior editor-at-large, Allan Sloan, has a warning for municipal bond investors ? look out below, because even investment grade municipal bonds are mega-inflated by lighter-than-air interest rates and are sure to pop when interest rates (and tax rates) rise. Repeat: high grade munis, he says, are at risk (“Municipal bonds: A train wreck […]

More Investment Concerns Regarding the Impending ‘Fiscal Cliff’


Investors and their advisers should be very cautious about purchasing and holding municipal bonds and municipal bond funds, and be mindful of the possible deleterious effects of the fiscal cliff that is rapidly approaching.

Homework is Needed Prior to Investing in Municipal Bonds


With declining revenue streams, underfunded pensions, and no insurance, municipal bonds can be treacherous and unsuitable for investors who lack the background and resources to performance due diligence before investing. “You cannot rely upon a third party like an insurance company doing the due diligence for you and putting their triple-A wrap on it,” one […]

Underwriter Abuses are Plentiful in the Municipal Bond Markets


Firms that underwrite municipal bonds often gain advantage over municipalities by engaging in unlawful acts that sometimes may rise to the level of criminal activity. Public officials are, by and large, not savvy municipal bond financiers. They usually rely on the expertise of underwriters, who often take unfair advantage of municipalities, public officials and taxpayers […]