Displaying items by tag: volatility

There is no question that investing in low-cost mutual funds or exchange-traded funds that mirror a benchmark index is a popular strategy to potentially reduce the impact of fees on a portfolio. In fact, many of these passive index strategies have often outperformed more costly actively managed funds. However, while tax efficient, they are unable to fully take advantage of short-term market volatility, according to Neale Ellis and Matthew Michaels of Fidelis Capital. On the other hand, direct indexing has become an attractive alternative to a portfolio of low-cost funds and ETFs, and unlike owning a mutual fund or ETF, an investor directly owns a basket of individual stocks that tracks a designated benchmark index. The strategy also allows greater flexibility during periods of volatility to selectively harvest losses while still closely tracking the benchmark. This is due to the fact that individual equities tend to see much higher volatility than a diversified mutual fund or ETF. This increases the opportunity for tax loss harvesting. Realizing losses in a portfolio can offset capital gains, which creates tax savings. Failing to harvest those losses during periods of short-term volatility could lead to lower results, essentially leaving money on the table.

Finsum:While passive index ETFs are tax efficient, they are unable to fully take advantage of short-term market volatility, which is something that direct indexing can do.

Published in Wealth Management

According to a report released this month by the Investment Company Institute, only 2.5% of defined contribution plan participants stopped contributing to their plans last year. This suggests that despite market volatility, Americans are still exhibiting disciplined savings habits. The report, titled “Defined Contribution Plan Participants’ Activities, 2022,” examined participant-directed changes in DC plans by tracking activity through recordkeeper surveys and comparing it to data going back to 2008. Based on the results, DC plan participants remained committed to making contributions like they had in previous years. For instance, only 2.2% of participants stopped contributing in 2021, 2.3% in 2020, 2.3% in 2019, and 3.4% in 2009. In fact, the withdrawal activity of defined contribution plan participants was 4.1% in 2022, the same as in 2021. In prior years, the percentage of plan participants who took withdrawals was 3.8% in 2020, 3.9% in 2019, and 3.1% in 2009. While levels of hardship withdrawal activity increased slightly last year, they were still low in absolute terms. This indicated that despite a challenging market environment, Americans are set on protecting their retirement savings, which was the conclusion of the ICI report.

Finsum:According to the results of a recent ICI report, only 2.5% of defined contribution plan participants stopped contributing to their plans last year despite a challenging market environment.

Published in Wealth Management
Wednesday, 22 March 2023 13:05

Bonds Once Again a Safe Haven from Equity Risk

Fixed-income professionals at Franklin Templeton and its affiliates expect fixed-income investments to be a safe haven from equities volatility since the financial markets are showing signs of stress. Tracy Chen, a portfolio manager at Brandywine Global, stated that “We believed something would break, even before this banking crisis happened. Now bonds provide safe haven protection for people’s portfolios because our timeline for recession is pulled forward because of this banking stress.” She recently spoke at a webinar on fixed-income mega-trends, entitled “Navigating Rates and Risk.” She was also joined by Jennifer Johnston, senior vice president and director of municipal bond research at Franklin Templeton, and Annabel Rudebeck, head of non-US corporate credit at Western Asset. Currently, yields are around 5% for corporates, which is considered attractive when compared to the longer-term history and government issuances. Johnston added that the tax-free attributes of municipal bonds provide an extra boost, while the muni market tends to be of higher quality than the corporate market. She stated, “We do see some opportunities, particularly out long, where munis are still relatively cheaper than where they’ve been in the past.” Chen also added that “This banking stress is very unique. It’s not driven by credit risk, but by mismanagement of duration.”

Finsum:With the financial markets showing stress, bond professionals at Franklin Templeton and its affiliates believe that fixed-income instruments provide a safe haven for the current stock volatility.

Published in Bonds: Total Market

Bond volatility continued to explode last week due to growing contagion fears from U.S. banks. Last Monday, after a weekend in which the U.S. government intervened to protect depositors of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, the 2-year U.S. note yield experienced its biggest one-day fall since October 20th, 1987. Outside of U.S. hours, it dropped the most since 1982. That intraday drop of close to 60 basis points even exceeded the declines during the 2007-2009 financial crisis, the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks, and 1987’s Black Monday market crash. Gregory Staples, head of fixed income North America at DWS Group in New York told MarketWatch that the week’s decline in the 2-year U.S. yield came as the result of “de-risking of portfolios and draining of liquidity, stemming from concerns about the health of the U.S. banking system, exacerbated by questions about the future of Credit Suisse.” The ICE BofAML Move Index, which measures bond-market volatility, surged on Wednesday and Thursday to its highest levels since the fourth quarter of 2008, during the height of the Financial Crisis. Volatility then continued on Friday over concerns around First Republic Bank. This sent Treasury yields plunging, one day after they spiked on the news of a funding deal.

Finsum:Last week, the ICE BofAML Move Index, a measure of bond-market volatility, soared to its highest levels since the 2008 Financial Crisis as banking concerns continue.

Published in Bonds: Treasuries
Wednesday, 22 March 2023 06:21

Reverberations stemming from SVB

It’s been, um, shaky times, for Silicon Valley Bank. Perhaps you’ve heard.

Well, Wall Street certainly has. On the heels of the air going out of the balloon of the bank, U.S. Treasury markets have been enduring volatility to the max, reported reuters.com.

The ICE Boa MOVE Index (.MOVE) – a measure of anticipated treasuries volatility – has exploded beyond its high in the face of COVID. Today? It’s around levels experienced, during -- you  probably had a hunch -- the financial crisis.

Traders were compelled to reverse their bets on steepling rates in light of expectations the Fed would pause or ease up on increases in interest rates given the lighting fast fall of the bank, coupled with  Signature Bank’s.

Earlier in the year, Deloitte issued a banking and capital markets outlook in which, among other things, it laid out the global economy’s remaining fragility entering the year, according to deloitte.com. Uncertainties? You betcha, such as those stemming from a cocktails of factors, including the invasion of Ukraine, a topsy turvy supply chain, barreling inflation and a global tightening of monetary policy.

Banks, over the long run, the outlook continued, should look past product, industry or business model boundaries and seek new sources of value.

Published in Eq: Financials
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