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May 2014

Options strategies for your company stock

Employees today are required to make many critical decisions that have a material impact on their future. One of them is whether or not they should participate in their company’s stock purchase plan if offered. Stock purchase plans are known alternatively as ESOPs, Employee Stock Ownership Plans and ESPPs, Employee Stock Purchase Plans. One advantage to participating is to get the discount that is offered which can be as much …Read More

Junk bonds turn up the risk for retirees

In a “normal” interest rate environment, a retiree fortunate enough to have $1 million could get about $45,000 a year in income by investing in 10-yearTreasury bonds without risking principal if held to maturity. Yields have recently risen from historic lows, but in today’s low-rate world, an investor with $1 million can only get an annual income of about $25,000 by investing in 10-year Treasurys. For the last five years, …Read More

Awash in Liquidity, Part 2: The Long-Term Consequences of Falling Interest Rates

First published at Minyanville.com http://www.minyanville.com/business-news/the-economy/articles/Awash-in-Liquidity-Part-2-The/5/28/2014/id/55108 There are going to be unintended effects that we can’t yet discern, but there are some issues that we already know about. In the first installment of this two-part series (Awash in Liquidity, Part I: Why Interest Rates Are Falling), I discussed how the world has come to be knee-deep in liquidity.  As a consequence, interest rates, as seen through US 10-year Treasury yields, have …Read More

Awash in Liquidity, Part I: Why Interest Rates Are Falling

First published at Minyanville.com http://www.minyanville.com/business-news/the-economy/articles/Awash-in-Liquidity-Part-I-Why/5/27/2014/id/55107 And why, in the short-term, increased market volatility will result. Despite a generally stronger economic outlook for the US economy, interest rates in May moved significantly lower, as if expectations were for an oncoming recession.  This has confounded many macroeconomists.  In this first installment of a two-part series, I will discuss why interest rates are now falling, and why, in the short-term, increased market volatility …Read More

Is There a Social Agenda in Yellen’s Monetary Policy?

Recently released Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes (special strategy meeting) leaves me with the impression that there is not unanimity of thought among the participants that there is significant labor market slack.  In many Fed districts, labor markets appear to be tight.  Anecdotal evidence collected in these districts indicates that businesses are finding that jobs are hard to fill and that many jobs go unfilled due to a lack …Read More