A bond, or fixed income investment, is a debt instrument created when investors loan capital to a corporate or government entity. These entities issue bonds to generate funds that are sufficient to finance projects or specified activities. Terms such as interest rate and investment time frame are established at the point of investment.

Noteworthy Reads - October 17, 2013

- Buffett and Berkshire adding equity exposure to defined benefit...

Key Phrases Autotag: 

Annuity Duration

Duration is a measure of the time associated with cash flows or payments from a bond. Duration measures the amount of time (in years from the purchase date) required for a bond owner to receive interest and principal payments that are equal to the cost of the bond.

Long duration bonds have payments that are spread-out over a relatively long period of time (e.g. 10-20 years). Shorter duration bonds have payments that might span over five years or less.

Duration provides an indication of how much a bond’s price will change when...

Notes from the CFA Institute Fixed Income Conference

The CFA Institute just held its 2012 fixed income conference in San Francisco.

Speakers shared a very broad range of perspectives on fixed income issues over the course of about a dozen sessions.

Session notes and observations (in no particular order) include:

Demographics and Deleveraging -- Rick Rieder, Blackrock

The Best Idea in Light of Demographic and Fiscal Challenges -- Scott Simon, PIMCO


Questioning the Need for Bonds in Retirement

Conventional financial wisdom says that bonds should comprise an increasing percentage of a portfolio as the owner ages and heads into retirement.

In theory, a retiree’s need for income and a reduced tolerance for risk are the main drivers of the larger allocation to bonds.

A key consideration, though, is...

Are Inflation Adjusted Annuities Worth the Cost?

Inflation protection for fixed annuities would seem to be a sensible consideration given the fact that central banks around the world are doing everything they can to reflate in the wake of an historic deleveraging.

After all, the worst possible place to be if and when inflation does kick-in is on the receiving end of nominal (not adjusted for inflation) fixed payments, and most fixed annuities fit this description perfectly.

While the inflation protection makes sense in theory, it turns-out that inflation-protected annuities may not be so sensible in practice...