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

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…”

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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.”

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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.”

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July 2022

“For several months we have written about the tension between high inflation and robust consumer demand seemingly undeterred by higher prices. Inflation setting a new cyclical high in May, after what was widely believed to be an April peak, seemed to suggest demand was winning.”

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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”

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Quarterly
Perspectives

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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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Q3 2021

Breaking Through Behavioral Barriers in Personal Financial Planning

“Despite a tendency to think of personal finance in quantitative terms…we believe the best financial planning advice also considers an element of psychology.”

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Video Briefs

October 2022

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May 2022

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January 2022

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November 2021

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