fixed income

Are Individual Investors Destined to Fail?

It's axiomatic among financial-service professionals that most do-it-yourself investors are their own worst enemies, always in the grip of some cognitive bias. But might the professionals be too pessimistic?

One Safe Way to Invest Now in Municipal Bonds

After respected banking analyst Meredith Whitney rattled the municipal bond market with her prediction of hundreds of billions of dollars in muni defaults, small investors dumped the bonds. That dire prediction may yet come true, but there are a few types of munis that still carry virtually no risk.

Keep Risk at Bay While Moving Back to Stocks

For investors, fear of losing money in the stock market is finally giving way to the reality that they may actually be losing money in low-yielding investments. So the move back to stocks if underway. But the key is do so safely. Here's some timely advice.

Street Smart: Do You Know What Deflation Is?

Nobody likes paying more for goods and services. But deflation has instant emotional appeal: Who doesn't like a bargain? But deflation is a far more serious economic problem -- and, as we found, most folks don't really know why. Do you? If not, no worries: Economist Gary Shilling will explain the reasoning. [Video]

Retail Investors Are Finally Warming Up to Stocks

Solid quarterly earnings and anticipation of more stimulus from the Fed have helped lift the Dow by 400 points over the past two weeks. However, another boost is coming from individuals who've begun moving money from bonds to equities.

The New Allure
of Emerging-Market Debt

Yields on emerging-market debt funds and exchange-traded funds are certainly enticing these days, especially compared to U.S. Treasurys. Also attractive are the added benefits of portfolio diversification and currency appreciation. But the risks can't be overlooked.

Forget Stocks. This Year, Bonds Have Had More Fun

It's no secret that stock investors have suffered through roller-coaster volatility this year for no real return, while bond investors have been having a ball. The longest-dated Treasury mutual funds have returned nearly 20%. Stocks, meanwhile, have done zilch.

Bond ETFs Shine for Their Flexibility and Safety

Stock market volatility has driven many investors out of stocks and into bonds and other fixed-income investments. Bond ETFs have snared a big chunk of the money for their flexibility and safety.

Stocks vs. Bonds: What's Better in a Rocky Market?

Interest rates are falling for Treasury bonds, beloved for their safety and steady payout. The stock market is wobbling, and equity prices may fall further if the economy continues to weaken. What's an investor supposed to do now?

ETFs at Midyear: Investments Keep Pouring In

The first half of 2010 has been anything but dull for exchange-traded fund investors. ETF assets in the U.S. decreased 0.4% to $772 billion as of June 30, but that actually indicates a serious inflow of cash: Equity markets, as measured by the S&P 500, fell 8.9% during the period.

Will Bond ETFs Have Another Banner Year?

There's one word to describe the exchange-traded bond fund business and market in 2009 -- booming. Indeed, last year more than $39 billion flowed into long-only bond ETFs, while more than $26 billion flowed out of long only U.S. stock ETFs. Can fixed-income investors expect more of the same in 2010?