The Take
on what the market gives us…

Summer Heat: Keep it Short and Enjoy Some Ice Cream
By: Isha Chanana — August 16, 2022

There’s nothing like ice cream on a hot day. The recent heat wave was longer than we usually get in New England, just as this year’s bond market rout seems to be dragging on. Rates and spreads have been simmering all year. But volatility creates opportunity, and this year is no exception.
Read More 

The Bear Market Essentials: 3 Charts for 2H-22
By: Jake Remley — August 3, 2022

“I think we now understand better how little we understand about inflation.” – Federal Reserve (Fed) Chairman Jay Powell, June 29, 2022. When Fed Chairman Jay Powell pronounced this now infamous statement, the bond market sighed. His epiphany had been realized by Treasury curve pricing as far back as May 6th, or the day the 10-year Treasury yield closed at a then year-to-date high of 3.13%.
Read More 

What's in a Yield Curve?
By: Joe Alfano — July 19, 2022

Market pundits will tell you that an inverted Treasury yield curve is a precursor to a recession.  There have only been 3 recessions in the past 30 years: March 2001 – November 2001, December 2007 – June 2009, and February 2020 – April 2020.  The 2-year/10-year Treasury relationship inverted prior to all three of these cases, 15, 18, and 6 months prior to the onset of the downturn.  We had a brief inversion in April, and currently stand within a 18bp inversion as of this writing.  
Read More 

Higher Yields for High Yield
By: Lyniese Patterson - Portfolio Manager and Ginny Schiappa - Portfolio Manager — June 29, 2022

With the recent market dislocation, yields on high-yield (HY) corporate debt have moved to about 8.5%, more than double what they were at year end and about 240bps above their 10-year average.  Including now, we’ve seen only five periods of yields over 7% since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC); two lasted about a year while two were over in a matter of weeks.  Current spreads near 500bps are about 70bps above their 10-year average and over 100bps wide to their 5-year average.  How often are spreads wider than they are currently? 
Read More 

The Ins and Outs of Portfolio Cashflows
By: Nate Hollingsworth — June 23, 2022

There are many reasons for client cash flows, both in and out. While the timing of incoming cashflows is very important, many clients pay even more attention when they are taking money out, focusing on liquidity and how quickly and easily they can get their money back. As a fixed income manager we naturally invest in markets that maintain superior liquidity during times of stress, especially compared to private markets. That said, the over-the-counter function of the bond market comes with its own nuances. Within the investment grade space, liquidity is relatively high on the overall spectrum. And fortunately, liquidity in the bond market flows more than it ebbs.
Read More 

Cheers to 35 Years!
By: Bill O'Malley — June 14, 2022

As we celebrate our 35th birthday here at IR+M, it’s interesting to look back at the year of our birth, 1987.  The Celtics lost to the Lakers, Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” won a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Top Gun won an Oscar for Best Music (Original Song).  The Dow dropped 22.6% in a single day (Black Monday, October 19), Drexel Burnham Lambert and the high yield market began to show cracks and Wall Street premiered with Gordon Gekko proclaiming that “greed…is good.”
Read More 

Ten Thoughts on Heavy Seas Investing Along the Curve
By: Jake Remley — May 18, 2022

Any seaman will tell you that weather forecasting is not an exact science. They’ll also joke that “gentlemen do not go windward." But extending this analogy to bond investors preferring to sit in cash amidst a Fed hiking cycle is misguided. Sure, beating windward into the Fed’s heavy seas can be wet, rough, and sloppy. But today’s racing yachts are designed to perform best in the windward direction, as that is often where the race is won. Bond investors who continue to buy high-quality paper during a Fed hiking cycle can be rewarded for their tactical skills. They’ll also be the ones fully invested when that sudden and pronounced change in market wind direction fills the sails of long-term returns.
Read More 

Live. Learn. Hedge well.
By: Theresa Roy — May 10, 2022

Rather than relying on timing, making and sticking to a plan can lead to better success in getting on your bike, and more importantly, de-risking your pension.
Read More 

Is It Time Yet?
By: Ed Ingalls — April 25, 2022

Markets are resilient. Many periods of significant drawdown create attractive buying opportunities. There is often an overshoot, and prices can recover quickly. We are not predicting what rates will do, nor how Ukraine, inflation, or recession will play out, but it seems like the market has digested and discounted a fair amount of the potential economic fallout. For investors looking to add some yield to their portfolios at much better levels than anytime over the past 3+ years, it may make sense to begin to average in.
Read More 

Taxable Munis: Not Exactly a Backwater…
By: Ed Ingalls — April 25, 2022

Taxable munis are an easily overlooked sector of the bond market, whether due to lack of knowledge of the issuers, structure, or fear of illiquidity. A strategic allocation may make sense for those investors looking for a high quality diversifier with a reasonably attractive yield and low volatility.
Read More