Market Commentaries

The Cost of Waiting for the “Right Hand” of Cards

May 2017

The post-crisis monetary policy reaction pushed interest rate markets into unchartered waters of zero interest rate policy (ZIRP). We have all become somewhat deadened to this reality over the last handful of years as monetary policy has led to heightened market valuations, paired with one of the longest periods of economic expansion (93 months) in our economic history.


Vexing Bond Market Questions

February 2017

This chart demonstrates the volatility of the 10 year U. S. treasury bond since the beginning of 2016. This volatility causes anxiety for many and understandably leads to several questions: Will long term bond yields increase as the Federal Reserve Bank increases its overnight lending bank rate? Should one invest in bonds now or wait until rates rise further? What is a proper equity/bond asset allocation given this volatility? These are pertinent questions and are often posed to our Investment Specialists and Portfolio Managers during the course of a week


Year of the Rooster

January 2017

By Jeffrey D. Irish We wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous 2017.  We thank our many clients and friends for your continued confidence and belief in the Bernardi team, our processes and the way we approach investing in today’s volatile bond market. …


Municipal Pension Liabilities: Between a Rock and a Hard Place?

October 2016

By Matthew P. Bernardi Municipalities have done an excellent job since the financial crisis in stabilizing their finances and have pulled a number of levers to reduce fixed costs. Today’s low growth environment calls for prudent management and the aver …


Market Update: June 30, 2016

June 2016

By Thomas P. Bernardi We have provided some color about the current state of the bond market below: Worldwide interest rates have declined in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.  The bond market rally continued through Monday, June 27th, with the taxable …


Our Three Pillars and the Latest Census Report

June 2016

By Matthew P. Bernardi Our descriptive Three Pillars is an over generalization of our approach to municipal credit analysis. When we look under the hood of each bond, numerous variables come into play, including: State statutes, taxing capacities and l …


Fiduciary vs. Suitability and Our Portfolio Management Process

May 2016

By Michelle Bernardi Landis I have spoken to a number of clients recently regarding the impact the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Fiduciary Standard ruling will have on their qualified plans.  Even though the DOL ruling only affects retirement accounts, i …


Selling Your Bonds?

April 2016

Are you thinking of selling some of your bonds? Selling bonds is an infrequent exercise for most retail investors and even many institutional clients. A vexing question for many is, “How do I know I am getting a fair market price for my bonds?” At many …


Ides Of March 2016 – Et Tu, Puerto Rico?

March 2016

By Ronald P. Bernardi IDES OF MARCH 2016 – ET TU, PUERTO RICO? The Ides of March, the 15th of the month, represents the monthly midpoint of the Roman calendar.   Julius Caesar was assassinated on the Ides in 44 BC by his friend Marcus Brutus and others …


Muni Bonds Continue to Provide Stability in an Uncertain Market

February 2016

By Matthew P. Bernardi According to the ICI Institute, municipal bond fund inflows amounted to $857 million for data ending February 24th.[1] This is now twenty-one straight weeks of inflows into municipal bond funds and we are on pace to see the highe …


RE: “How Muni Bonds ‘Yield’ 4% in a 2% World”

November 2015

By Ronald P. Bernardi Let’s slow down a bit before jumping to conclusions. Here are several observations about the October 30th, Wall Street Journal article How Muni Bonds ‘Yield’ 4% in a 2% World. Author Jason Zweig makes a valid point in asserting th …


Fiduciary and Suitability – Industry Standards, Investor Choice

September 2015

By Ronald P. Bernardi When is a bond manager a good fit for you? What is the most economical way to pay for bond portfolio management services? Does the manager adhere to a fiduciary or suitability standard? What is the difference and does it matter to …


Municipal Bonds and Infrastructure Development – Past, Present, and Future

August 2015

By Ronald P. Bernardi We thought you might find the attached white paper interesting.  It is sponsored jointly by GFOA and IMCA and is authored by Justin Marlowe, professor at the University of Washington. The paper describes the important role tax-exe …


An Investor’s Duck Test

August 2015

By Matthew P. Bernardi “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.” This straightforward method of reasoning can often help one gain a better understanding of the intricate – yet ubiquitous – financi …


Interest Rate Lift-Off?

July 2015

By Jeffrey D. Irish It appears the Federal Reserve Bank is about ready to start raising short-term interest rates. What will happen to longer-term yields when the Fed begins the ‘tightening process’ is anybody’s guess. Anything can happen of course, bu …