Managing interest rate risk with bond ladders

Defined maturity ETFs can help investors build diversified bond ladders

Time to read: 3 min

For the first time in 12 years, investors are forced to wrestle with the challenge of navigating a multi-year upward trend in interest rates at both the short and long end of the bond universe. Bond laddering is a timeless strategy used by generations of investors to help manage the risks associated with future changes in market interest rates. But bond laddering has become markedly more difficult to implement in the decade since the financial crisis. In this blog, I explain the potential benefits of bond laddering, and tools that can help with the difficulties.

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Are you prepared for rising interest rates?

Defined maturity bond fund ETFs may provide a compelling option for a rising interest rate environment

Time to read: 3 min

Interest rates continue their upward trend. In March, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) hiked the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to a target range of 1.5% to 1.75%, citing strength in the US labor market, a low unemployment rate and moderate economic growth.1 This was the sixth such rate increase since December 2015, and isn’t likely to be the last. With inflation nearing the Fed’s annual 2% target, members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) — the Fed’s policy-making arm — anticipate at least two more 0.25% increases in the federal funds rate by year-end.2

What’s in store for the yield curve?

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Regulatory changes put spotlight on bond pricing, disclosure

New rules require more transparency around corporate, agency and municipal bond markups

Time to read: 3 min

Effective May 14, 2018, new regulations will be adopted aimed at increasing the transparency of bond pricing. The new rules require dealers of corporate, municipal and agency bonds to clearly disclose bond markups and provide retail investors with relevant price comparisons.

Although this initiative was spearheaded by the Municipal Securities Regulatory Board (MSRB) to cover municipal bonds, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has been working in tandem with the MSRB on language that covers corporate and agency bonds as well. Ultimately, the two regulatory agencies came up with

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