Preferred stocks offer the distinction of being unique hybrid instruments with qualities of both stocks and bonds. In that manner, they offer healthy dividend yields alongside a favored position in the capital structure of many companies that issue these securities.
The reason company’s issue preferred shares are to raise capital from investors that are seeking an attractive yield without adding traditional debt (bonds) that carry strict maturity dates and covenants. Preferred stocks can also be “callable” from the issuer, who has the right to redeem them at a certain price or time at their discretion. Read more
In this month’s video, I look at key trends developing in global stock and bond markets. Chart review includes analysis of large-cap, small cap, emerging market, high yield, interest rates, and gold prices. Observations of risk and reward are noted throughout with an emphasis on caution for new money at this phase of the rally in stocks. Recorded on March 7, 2017.
The strength of broad domestic stock market indices in 2017 has been the dominating story in global financial markets. The expectation of new government policies, coupled with the lack of risk asset volatility, has many investors feeling confident in a continuation of the bullish trend.
As of last week, ETFs trading in the United States have accumulated over $75 billion in fresh capital inflows since the start of the year. The majority of that money has gone towards stock-focused index funds such as the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY).
ETF investors are likely measuring the resilience and relative performance of their portfolios during the latest 6-month jump in interest rates. Bond funds are the obvious areas of concern in terms of volatility. However, many stock and equity-income asset classes maintain a high sensitivity to Treasury yield fluctuations as well.
REITs certainly fall into this category and are one of the few sectors of the market currently trading well off their highs. As I wrote in September, inflection points in interest rates typically signal a change of trend for these assets. Read more
A reader recently sent me a question asking why you would own a bond fund when interest rates are on the move higher. This type of sentiment is more than likely on the minds of many investors as they prepare for 2017 and evaluate adjustments to their asset allocation.
The short answer is that every diversified portfolio should have bond exposure to balance out the risk of other asset classes – i.e. stocks and commodities. Bonds have historically provided a shock absorber for the equity side of the portfolio and have not shown any signs of relinquishing that trait. Simply letting go of all your bond exposure will unnecessarily tilt your risks and returns towards a single outcome. Read more