Bonds: Munis

(Washington)

Investors may fear it, but we all know the big tax package is coming. Personal income tax rates, and likely business rates will rise. State and local taxes will be affected too. So one big question is how this will pay out for muni bonds. The answer, at least according to Franklin Templeton, is that munis are going to do great. The reason why could not be simpler: with tax rates rising, the relative value of munis rises since their tax exempt status because relatively more valuable.


FINSUM: Anxiety about the forthcoming tax plan is rising, and that is a great tailwind for munis. Couple that with the fact that Democrats are more in favor of federal support for municipalities and you have a great combination for muni bonds.

(New York)

Even before the pandemic and subsequent crisis, the high-yield Muni market failed to deliver the returns after taxes that the corporate bond market…view the full story on our partner Magnifi’s site

(New York)

The muni market is in a very interesting place. Despite the overall erosion of credit quality for municipalities since the pandemic began, demand for munis is at an all-time high and returns have been great. Yields are very low, but until very recently, they still offered a substantial benefit over Treasuries. All of this has coincided with a major change to the space: the infusion of institutional investors. For decades, the muni space has been dominated by HNW individuals and their advisors, but over the last couple years, institutional buying has been rising strongly. According to a study by an industry body “Over the last decade, customer purchases of fixed-rate, tax-exempt municipal securities of $100,000 or less decreased by 46%, the MSRB found. Meanwhile, institutional-sized purchases of over $1 million increased 46% in the same time period”. “Most of the large retail managers have moved clients from traditional, transactional, retail accounts into discretionary platforms like SMAs … The firm itself then makes the allocation decisions and is, therefore, less responsible for making sure that the client understands their investment decision”, said Matt Fabian, partner at Municipal Market Analytics.


FINSUM: This is actually good news for all involved—retail investors and advisors included (in a broad sense)—as it improves liquidity and tightens spreads.

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