Beyond Ladders: Attributes of Active Bond Management

The asset management industry has long wrestled with the active versus passive debate across a spectrum of asset classes... Contrasting active municipal strategies with bond ladders, the most common passively managed tax-exempt strategy, warrants considering the characteristics and attributes of each approach.

Review and
Outlook

November 2022

“On the surface, the Q3 GDP report was strong with growth two tenths above expectations at +2.6%. Details, however, were far less positive.”

Learn More

October 2022

“The biggest rate surprise last month came not from the US, but the UK. Prime Minister Liz Truss’s unexpectedly large, proposed tax cuts had the government engaged in stimulus while the Bank of England (BOE) was tightening…”

Learn More

September 2022

“While we were never convinced, the FOMC meeting at the end of July led to market speculation of a coming Fed “pivot” to a more accommodative policy. Markets flirted with the idea for much of August as well until Powell put to bed the idea of a “dovish Fed pivot” in his Jackson Hole testimony.”

Learn More

August 2022

“Most of the world defines recessions as at least two consecutive quarters of GDP contraction. The US relies instead on an assessment by the National Bureau of Economic Research, which has not yet ruled.”

Learn More

Economic and
Market Commentary

09.19.2022

Beyond Ladders: Attributes of Active Bond Management

The asset management industry has long wrestled with the active versus passive debate across a spectrum of asset classes. At Appleton, we are strong advocates of active municipal bond management as it affords us the ability to customize solutions and capitalize on opportunities to add incremental yield and total return. Contrasting active municipal strategies with bond ladders, the most common passively managed tax-exempt strategy, warrants considering the characteristics and attributes of each approach.

Learn More

07.11.2022

Yield, Credit, and Valuation: The Case For Municipals

We recommend advisors and investors take another look at their allocation to investment grade municipals, a case based on higher yield levels, strong credit quality, and attractive relative valuation.

Learn More

06.01.2022

Grappling with Volatility: Thoughts on the Equity Markets

Investors and businesses alike crave stability if not certainty, and a lack of such clarity often leads to market volatility. That has certainly been the case in 2022 with the S&P 500 off to one of its worst starts in years, having declined for 7 consecutive weeks during April and May and briefly trading into bear market territory (>20% decline). Setting aside the understandable anxiety associated with periods of market weakness…

Learn More

05.10.2022

Transitioning from Turbulence to Opportunity: Municipal Portfolio Notes

“Yields across the municipal curve have largely priced in these hikes in our view. . . From a valuation perspective, municipals are now attractive relative to USTs”

Learn More

Quarterly
Perspectives

Q3 2022

Managing Market Emotions and Biases

“Warren Buffett’s contrarian investment philosophy likely resonates with many who embrace a value-oriented mindset. While there is inherent logic in this time-tested recommendation, adhering to advice of this nature presents practical challenges.”

Learn More

Q2 2022

Fortifying Financial Decision-Making

“Generation X households are likely to inherit a staggering $30 trillion in wealth over the next 25 years and overtake the Baby Boomers as America’s wealthiest generation. The magnitude of this dynamic has caught the attention of wealth management professionals, and what is unfolding in an aging America is also likely to have a profound effect on individual relationships with money.”

Learn More

Q1 2022

The Gift of Giving

“The war in Ukraine is a tragedy on many dimensions, and along with our sympathies and concern for all those impacted, we offer a few wealth management and financial planning thoughts.”

Learn More

Q4 2021

Reframing Perceptions of Portfolio Risk

“Thinking about risk a bit differently can be revealing. Individual interpretations vary which is why applying traditional investment techniques and individualized approaches are both essential parts of the equation.”

Learn More

Video Briefs

October 2022

Watch Video

May 2022

Watch Video

January 2022

Watch Video

November 2021

Watch Video