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Nov 10, 2022

Today’s Municipal Market: Key Concepts and Red Flags for Due Diligence

Municipal securities are an important part of the fixed-income market. While small, at $4.2 trillion compared with the U.S. bond market at $52.9 trillion, municipal bonds are a critical financing vehicle for cities, towns and states. The lion’s share of municipal financing is for large, long-lived assets such as roads, bridges, hospitals and schools.

Oct 25, 2022

Where Does the Municipal Market Go From Here?

According to the Bond Buyer, “September municipal bond issuance declined 43% year-over-year, with nearly every structure and sector seeing large drops, as issuers eschewed the market amid another Federal Reserve rate hike and severe global market volatility.”1 Municipal bonds sold off in sympathy with Treasuries and as a consequence, yields increased to the highest level of the year.

Oct 12, 2022

America’s Unique Journey to Central Bank Digital Currency

Economies worldwide are pursuing the idea of a digital currency issued by central banks, with more than 80 countries acknowledging they are currently investigating the implementation of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The U.S. recently announced they’ve also begun exploring a CBDC, although our journey will not follow exactly the same path. Going forward, much attention will be turned to the Federal Reserve; in mid-September 2022, the Treasury Department released a framework for regulating digital assets. According to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, one major objective is to “advance policy and technical work on a potential central bank digital currency, or CBDC."

Oct 3, 2022

The Next Evolution in Payments: Central Bank Digital Currencies

Crypto and distributed ledger technology (blockchain) continue to evolve at breakneck speeds. Governments also are fostering this discussion as they investigate implementing their own Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC). More than 80 countries around the world are researching or developing CBDCs, and are at various stages of the investigating process. On January 20, 2022, the U.S. Federal Reserve issued a discussion whitepaper highlighting the features/benefits/risks of such a payment system and acknowledged they are actively investigating it. Some governments have already postponed or canceled projects, while many are still investigating the pros and cons, and others have already launched their own digital currencies.

Sep 21, 2022

The State of ESG Investing in 2022: Trends and Regulations

Amid a variety of global events, 2022 has been a challenging year for many ESG investment strategies. Energy companies, most often associated with encouraging fossil fuel dependency, have performed well given the spike in energy prices driven by supply chain issues and the war in Ukraine. However, many ESG strategies screen out energy companies over concerns about their impact on climate change. At the same time, many ESG-related investment strategies have been overweighting allocations to technology stocks, which have performed relatively poorly for most of the year.

Sep 6, 2022

The Evolution of ESG Investing and Regulation

The acronym “ESG” stands for environmental, social and governance. More importantly, the term ESG has become synonymous with the concept of “sustainability.” In the capital markets, ESG criteria are a set of standards that should help to assess an organization’s operations and evaluate potential investments in securities issued by those organizations.

Aug 16, 2022

Key Inflation Concepts Impacting Your Portfolio

As the Federal Reserve raises rates to combat rising inflation, the consumer price index soared to another 40-year high as prices rose 9.1% in June. Inflation has investors worried, so let’s take a step back and review key related concepts and debunk an important myth.

Jul 27, 2022

Inflation 101: What It Is and What It Means for Your Portfolio

Ronald Reagan once said, “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman.”

But what do we actually mean by inflation? By the same token, how confident are you of defining deflation, disinflation and hyperinflation?

Reagan was elected US president in 1980. At the time, the price of a gallon of unleaded gas was about $1.13. By the end of May 2022, the same commodity costs $4.61—an increase of 308%.

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