Eq: Total Market

Former President of the NY Federal Reserve, the most powerful branch in the system, said that the Fed is going to have to inflict losses on bond and equity investors if it wants to manage inflation.  Dudley who served for almost a decade at the Fed, said they are also navigating other issues like labor market tightness and supply-chain disruptions which will make it difficult to navigate. This view however stands in stark contrast to the ‘Fed put’ where investors rely on the Fed to not tighten monetary policy too quickly in order to maintain stable equity prices. 

FinsumHigher rate hikes are definitely a possibility, and even dovish Presidents are looking like hawks.

Acquisitions and launches are running hot in direct indexing and in an attempt to match rival Fidelity, Charles Schwab announced the launch of their new direct indexing products. The funds will be available starting on April 30th, but unlike Fidelity’s ultra-low initial investment of $5k, Schwab will require a $100,000 minimum. They want their direct index investors to have a better conceptualization of the market and think the minimum will attract this. The launch comes fresh off of tax season and will hopefully drive interest as tax is an advantage of DI. Schwab will concentrate on the tax advantages of their custom offerings as opposed to ESG or other flavors popular with these funds.

Finsum: The timing of this launch could put investors over the hump when it comes to taking advantage of tax-loss harvesting with their DI products.

BlackRock sent waves through the market announcing they were slashing fees from 0.04% to 0.03% for the largest bond fund in the world the iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG). This wasn’t the only move they made as equity funds LRGF and INTF got their fees reduced as well. The fee battle is a prominent part of the game as lower expense ratios definitely garner more attention from investors. Previously BR had reduced fees on other fixed-income products as part of the escalating competition with Vanguard.

Finsum: FI income investors should keep an eye out, with prices and fees at lows, bond market ETFs could be in the ‘buy the dip’ territory’. 


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