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Markets & Economy

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Get timely stock market analysis, perspectives and ideas from our team of experts.

Radioactive: Is Passive’s Dominance Over Active Set to Wane?
by Liz Ann Sonders
February 27, 2017

The macro landscape has led to passive investing strategies handily outperforming active strategies…but the winds are shifting toward a better environment for active.

What would a shake-up at the Fed mean for bond investors?
by Kathy A Jones
February 23, 2017

Significant turnover will likely hit the Fed in the next few years. The changes may result in a shift in the way the Fed sets policy. 

The stock market sees nothing to worry about—that may be about to change
by Jeffrey Kleintop
February 21, 2017

Stock markets are currently behaving as if there is nothing to worry about, but that may be about to change now that we are within 45 trading days of the French Presidential election.

Better Days: Earnings Growth Picks Up Sharply in 2017
by Liz Ann Sonders
February 13, 2017

We step away from the macro and focus on the micro of earnings and valuation... courtesy of the surge in the former, the latter looks reasonable.

Schwab Market Perspective: Not So Fast!
by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen and Jeffrey Kleintop
February 10, 2017

Uncertainty among investors appears to be rising as the Trump administration attempts to race ahead with its policy priorities—what does it mean for stocks?

Schwab Sector Views: Trump Plus OPEC Equals …What for Energy?
by Brad Sorensen
February 09, 2017

Between OPEC cutting oil production and President Trump’s promise of economic stimulus, the energy sector should be rallying. Why isn’t it? 

Real Estate Sector: Underperform
by Brad Sorensen
February 09, 2017

Schwab's view on the real estate sector, which covers companies involved in real estate and includes equity REITs.

Consumer Discretionary Sector Rating: Marketperform
by Brad Sorensen
February 09, 2017

Schwab's view on the consumer discretionary sector, which covers companies that sell non-essential goods and services. 

Consumer Staples Sector Rating: Marketperform
by Brad Sorensen
February 09, 2017

Schwab's view on the consumer staples sector, which includes consumer items that tend to be viewed as household necessities.

Materials Sector Rating: Marketperform
by Brad Sorensen
February 09, 2017

Schwab's view on the materials sector, which describes an array of commodity-related manufacturing industries.

Information Technology Sector Rating: Outperform
by Brad Sorensen
February 09, 2017

Schwab's view on the information technology sector, which covers most makers and providers of computer, data, and electronic equipment and services.

Utilities Sector Rating: Underperform
by Brad Sorensen
February 09, 2017

Schwab's view on the utilities sector, which covers a variety of industries that generate and deliver power and water. 

Financials Sector Rating: Outperform
by Brad Sorensen
February 09, 2017

Schwab's view on the financial sector, which encompasses the financial services industry and is often referred to by the acronym FIRE, for finance, insurance and real estate.

Energy Sector Rating: Marketperform
by Brad Sorensen
February 09, 2017

Schwab's view on the energy sector, which encompasses companies that help produce and distribute energy.

Health Care Sector Rating: Outperform
by Brad Sorensen
February 09, 2017

Schwab's view on the health care sector covers health care equipment and services as well as  pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. 

Industrials Sector Rating: Marketperform
by Brad Sorensen
February 09, 2017

Schwab's view on the industrial sector, which includes providers of capital goods, commercial services, transportation services and infrastructure.

Telecommunication Services Sector Rating: Underperform
by Brad Sorensen
February 09, 2017

Schwab's view on the telecommunications sector, including operators of telecom networks and providers of communications and data transmission services.

Europe Votes: Could More Countries Reject the EU?
by Michelle Gibley
February 08, 2017

Wariness of the political status quo seems to be spreading, but the possibility of another country following the UK’s Brexit example isn’t certain.

Should Muni Investors Be Concerned About Pensions?
by Cooper J Howard
February 07, 2017

Dallas recently joined the list of major cities to see its credit ratings downgraded in the face of pension struggles. What does it mean for muni investors?  

Simple Indicators In A Complex World
by Jeffrey Kleintop
February 06, 2017

When people feel there is a situation that is out of their control or too complicated to analyze, they often fall back on rules of thumb to make decisions.

Corporate Defaults: What Investors Should Know When A Bond Issuer Goes Bankrupt
by Collin Martin
February 02, 2017

With the corporate default rate rising, investors may be wondering what they should do if their corporate bond issuer goes bankrupt.

Short-Term Bonds: Why They Could Outperform As Interest Rates Rise
by Cooper J Howard and Rob Williams
February 02, 2017

Bonds with shorter durations may outperform medium-term and long-term bonds if the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates.

Rise Up: Dow 20k Fails to Thrill Individual Investors
by Liz Ann Sonders
January 30, 2017

With the post-election surge in stocks, and the subsequent passing of 20k by the Dow, investor sentiment expectedly surged; but individuals have become wary.

Five Reasons to Stay Invested Despite Heightened Uncertainty
by Jeffrey Kleintop
January 23, 2017

There are five reasons to stay invested despite the heightened uncertainty.

Anatomy of a Bond Bear Market: What to Look For When Yields Rise
by Kathy A Jones
January 19, 2017

With yields surging from last summer’s record lows, are bonds at the start of a long-term bear market? To answer that question, you must first determine what constitutes a bear market in bonds.

Not Fade Away: Will High Consumer/Business Confidence Fade or Persist?
by Liz Ann Sonders
January 17, 2017

Most measures of both consumer and business confidence have surged post-election; with consumer confidence likely more stable and business confidence possibly more fickle.

Discount Munis: What You Need to Know About Taxes
by Cooper J Howard
January 13, 2017

Municipal bonds can offer tax-free income, but bonds purchased at discounted prices could be subject to variable tax rates.

Floaters vs. Bank Loans: What You Should Know as Rates Rise
by Collin Martin
January 10, 2017

Rising interest rates add to the appeal of floating-rate coupons, but not all investments in this category offer the same risks and rewards.

The CURE for a calm market: Four risks for 2017
by Jeffrey Kleintop
January 09, 2017

After a calm post-election climb for stocks, developments in China, United Kingdom, Russia, and Europe may bring a return of volatility.

Will the U.S. Dollar Bull Market Continue in 2017?
by Kathy A Jones
January 05, 2017

The U.S. dollar looks set to continue rising this year, but the risks to the rally increase as the bull market ages.

Luminous Times: Looking Ahead With Optimism About 2017
by Liz Ann Sonders
January 03, 2017

The rally has been called the "Trump trade" but the economic and earnings inflection points pre-dated the election. Optimism is warranted, but greed should be kept in check.

Municipal Bond Outlook: What Investors May See in 2017
by Cooper J Howard and Rob Williams
January 03, 2017

Although volatility is likely to increase in early 2017, rising interest rates could lead to higher after-tax yields and potentially attractive entry points for investors.

Inflation Is Rising: Time to Consider Treasury-Inflation Protected Securities?
by Collin Martin
December 20, 2016

Inflation is trending higher and TIPS are still priced below their historical averages. Is now the time to consider some inflation protection? 

Emerging Markets: Why They Deserve a Place in Your Portfolio
by Michelle Gibley
December 16, 2016

Emerging market stocks tumbled after the U.S. election because of concerns about protectionism and a stronger dollar, but we think the potential benefits offset the risks.

Changing Conditions: A Bond Market FAQ
by Kathy A Jones
December 13, 2016

Yields have surged and potential changes in taxes, government spending and interest rates could make the bond market more volatile. What does it mean to investors?

5 Reasons International Stocks May Underperform in 2017
by Jeffrey Kleintop
December 12, 2016

There are five key reasons developed international stocks may lag U.S. stocks again in 2017.

Corporate Bonds: Income May Drive Potential Returns in 2017
by Collin Martin
December 08, 2016

With yields poised to rise, income payments—rather than price gains—may drive potential total returns in the corporate bond market in 2017.

You’ve Got to Earn It: Valuations Aided by Improving "E"
by Liz Ann Sonders
December 05, 2016

Economic and corporate earnings momentum has picked up sharply heading into 2017; but the inflection point trend pre-dated the U.S. presidential election.

Bond Market Outlook: Higher Rates and Known Unknowns
by Kathy A Jones
December 01, 2016

The incoming administration’s proposals for taxes, spending and trade could create waves in the bond market. Caution may be in order.

Happy Unrecession: The Alice in Wonderland economy
by Jeffrey Kleintop
November 28, 2016

While the odd and upside-down developments confronting investors may seem mad, the stock market gains are not as misguided or illogical as they may at first seem.

Muni Bonds: Making Sense of the Post-Election Landscape
by Cooper J Howard and Rob Williams
November 22, 2016

The potential for lower taxes and an increase in infrastructure spending could hurt muni prices in the short term, but we still feel they can make sense for high-income earners.

Emotional Rescue: What to make of the post-election surge?
by Liz Ann Sonders
November 21, 2016

The post-election rally has been remarkable and likely reflects pro-growth policies expected next year; but also the long-awaited revival of animal spirits.

Can Bond Funds Make Sense When Interest Rates Rise?
by Rob Williams
November 17, 2016

Bond funds can experience price swings when interest rates rise, but potentially higher total returns over time can help you recover.

Premium Bonds: What’s the Attraction?
by Collin Martin
November 15, 2016

Paying more for a bond than you stand to get back at maturity may seem like a losing proposition, but premium bonds can offer attractive returns and price stability.

President Trump and Global Trade: How Will Campaign Promises Play Out?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
November 10, 2016

Even if he carries out his most aggressive campaign proposals, we believe the consequences could be less damaging than they might at first seem.

Market Volatility, Trading Halts and Circuit Breakers
by Schwab Center for Financial Research
November 09, 2016

Exchanges may halt trading when the S&P 500 Index® drops quickly. Here’s how “circuit breakers” work and what they’re supposed to do.

Trump Wins: What Happens Now?
by Schwab Center for Financial Research
November 09, 2016

Donald Trump’s surprise presidential election victory led to some initial market volatility. Will it continue? Here’s what investors should know.

Trump Pulls Off an Upset
by Michael T Townsend
November 09, 2016

Donald Trump pulled off an astonishing upset to win the White House. However, because he has provided less detail about his policy positions than a traditional campaign, it may take some time for markets to sort out his priorities. 

Change Is in the Air: A Post-Election Look at Bonds
by Kathy A Jones
November 09, 2016

The election results look set to continue the shift toward increased fiscal spending and higher inflation, but some caveats are in order.

Recession Odds Pass Key Threshold
by Jeffrey Kleintop
October 31, 2016

A reliable historical indicator suggests the events of October may have been more soothing than scary for long-term investors.

Opposing Views: How the Candidates’ Tax Plans Could Affect Muni Bonds
by Cooper J Howard and Rob Williams
October 20, 2016

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have put forward very different tax plans. What do those plans mean for municipal bond investors?

European Bank Stress: What Does It Mean for the Preferred Securities Market?
by Collin Martin
October 18, 2016

Deutsche Bank's woes have rattled the preferred securities market, which is dominated by financial company issuers. Should investors be concerned?

Three Reasons Stocks May Avoid Another Lost Decade
by Jeffrey Kleintop
October 17, 2016

The end of September marked 10 years with no growth in earnings and nine years with no gain in the stock market—what will the next 10 years offer investors?

Are Bond Yields About to Rise?
by Kathy A Jones
October 06, 2016



Going Godzilla: What has the Bank of Japan Unleashed?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
October 03, 2016

The Bank of Japan faces a rising risk that their policy has created a monster that may be getting harder to control.

Back to School with Municipal Bonds
by Cooper J Howard and Rob Williams
September 27, 2016

School district bonds can bring high credit quality and diversity to a portfolio of municipal bonds.

With a Whimper Instead of a Bang: Is the Great Bond Bull Market Over?
by Kathy A Jones
September 27, 2016

U.S. Treasury yields may have bounced, but global economic weakness will likely keep them under pressure. 

Quality Check: High-Yield vs. Investment-Grade Bonds
by Collin Martin
September 20, 2016

High valuations and weakening fundamentals suggest the case for high-yield bonds isn’t as compelling as that for investment-grade bonds. Yield seekers rethinking their risk tolerance should take note.  

World Tour: An Around The World Look At the Economic Landscape
by Jeffrey Kleintop
September 19, 2016

The global picture may have brightened a little, thanks largely to Asia, but with little momentum to that improvement.

Negative Interest Rate Policy: What Is It and Could It Happen Here?
by Kathy A Jones
September 08, 2016

Five major central banks have lowered their countries' interest rates into negative territory. Why are they doing it, and could the U.S. Federal Reserve follow suit?

Mind the Gap: Are Earnings Expectations Too High?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
September 06, 2016

After a year and a half of cutting their earnings estimates for the world’s companies by a total of 14%, analysts have spent the past six months raising them. Are they now expecting too much?

Emerging Market Bonds: Curb Your Enthusiasm
by Kathy A Jones
August 30, 2016

Emerging market debt has delivered solid returns this year, but currency and default risks loom thanks to slow global growth and a potential rise in U.S. interest rates.

Is it Time to Consider Bank Loan Funds?
by Collin Martin
August 25, 2016

Bank loans offer relatively high income potential and may actually benefit from a Fed rate hike. But investors should also consider their risks. 

Extra Credit: The Lowdown on Enhancement Programs for School District Bonds
by Cooper J Howard and Rob Williams
August 23, 2016

Looking for extra protection for your school district bonds? Consider munis backed by state credit-enhancement programs.

Your portfolio may be less diversified than you think
by Jeffrey Kleintop
August 22, 2016

Investors with a large home bias in their portfolio may not be nearly as diversified as they believe.

What Does Strong Job Growth Mean for Bond Investors?
by Kathy A Jones
August 11, 2016

Healthy recent U.S. employment growth suggests the Fed could raise rates again this year. Here's what investors should consider doing now.  

Does Zika pose an Olympic-sized risk to stocks?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
August 08, 2016

While the threat of Zika at the Olympic Games may garner headlines, past world pandemics show us that the market impact has not been significant—even when the global economy was especially vulnerable to a shock.

Munis: How to Invest in Infrastructure-Backed Bonds
by Cooper J Howard and Rob Williams
August 02, 2016

Politicians are talking more about the need to invest in America’s infrastructure. Here’s what you need to know about investing in revenue-backed municipal bonds.

Healthy and Wealthy: How Planning Can Boost Your Well-Being
by Rob Williams
July 28, 2016

Research has shown that planning can be an effective way to reinforce behavior that’s good for your health and your finances.

Do TIPS Make Sense When Inflation Is Low?
by Collin Martin
July 26, 2016

Yields on Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities may not fully reflect the potential for rising prices, which could make them attractive. 

Earnings estimates are rebounding: what it means for stocks
by Jeffrey Kleintop
July 25, 2016

Analysts’ improving outlook for corporate earnings has tracked the trend of better than-expected economic data, helping to support stocks in the face of negative geopolitical events.

Three Reasons Why Now is Not the Time to Retreat from Global Diversification
by Jeffrey Kleintop
July 11, 2016

The Brexit is another in a series of political, economic and financial shocks coming from outside the United States. So is it time for long-term investors to retreat from global diversification to the perceived relative safety of the U.S. stock market?

Market Stress: How Emotions Can Hurt and Help Your Portfolio
by Rob Williams
July 06, 2016

Emotional reactions to market stress can knock a portfolio off course. Here’s how you can prepare.

Puerto Rico Looming Default and Restructuring Bill: What You Need to Know
by Cooper J Howard and Rob Williams
June 30, 2016

Puerto Rico is on the brink of potentially the largest municipal default in U.S. history. What could that mean for your bond portfolio?

Brexit: What Does It Mean for U.S. Corporate Credit?
by Collin Martin
June 28, 2016

U.K. voters’ decision to leave the EU could mean increased volatility in U.S. credit markets. Here are some tips to help your portfolio weather the storm.

After the Brexit Vote: What Lies Ahead for Markets?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
June 27, 2016

U.K. voters' decision to exit the European Union has rocked global markets. What will "Brexit" mean for investors going forward?

Why Market Returns May Be Lower in the Future
by Veerapan Perianan
June 24, 2016

 

Brexit: What Does It Mean for the Bond Market?
by Kathy A Jones
June 24, 2016

Amid market turmoil, investors are flocking to U.S. Treasuries. What else can investors expect as a result of Brexit?

What investors need to know about helicopter money
by Jeffrey Kleintop
June 13, 2016

The return of deflation in Japan has led some to call for the use of “helicopter money” which we see as unlikely to be effective at boosting growth, but may raise the risks to the global financial system.

Waiting for a Fed Rate Hike: Bond Investments That May Make Sense Now
by Collin Martin
June 09, 2016

The Federal Reserve is likely to raise rates again this year, but that doesn’t mean fixed-income investors need to wait on the sidelines for a better entry point.

State Municipal Bonds: Should Slowing Tax Revenue Growth Worry Investors?
by Cooper J Howard and Rob Williams
June 02, 2016

State tax revenue growth has been slowing—should municipal bond investors be worried?

Five ways investors can make the most of slower growth
by Jeffrey Kleintop
May 31, 2016

Making the most out of a slower growth environment may help define investment success in the coming years leading investors to find bright spots among mega-caps and emerging market stocks.

Bond Index Investing: Why You Should Track More Than One Benchmark
by Kathy A Jones
May 19, 2016

Bond market changes mean that even mutual funds and ETFs tracking a broad bond index could expose investors to more risk than they realize. 

Japan: Another Recession Coming?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
May 16, 2016

Japan’s economy is struggling and may be set to disappoint economists’ expectations for a sharp rebound in economic growth this year.

5 Cases Where Out-of-State Munis Might Make Sense
by Cooper J Howard and Rob Williams
May 10, 2016

Out-of-state municipal bonds may not offer in-state tax advantages, but they could still help diversify a muni portfolio.  

The ECB’s Latest Plan: What Does It Mean for U.S. Corporate Bonds?
by Collin Martin
May 05, 2016

The European Central Bank is poised to buy corporate bonds. Here’s how its plan may affect the U.S. investment-grade corporate bond market.

Retirement Spending: How Much Can You Afford?
by Cooper J Howard and Rob Williams
May 03, 2016

What’s the right spending level in retirement? The 4% rule is a good starting point for planning, but individual considerations still apply.

Eight Years Later: Europe’s Economy is Back and its Stocks are Leading Global Markets
by Jeffrey Kleintop
May 02, 2016

Europe’s improving economy pushed back above its prior peak eight years ago and has been helping lift European stocks above those of other developed markets.

Sign O’ the Times: Sell in May and Go Away?
by Liz Ann Sonders
April 25, 2016

With May upon us, investors will begin to ponder whether to “sell in May and go away,” while also reveling (?) in the Dow’s “Golden Cross.”

Mixed Signals From the Bond Market: Something’s Got to Give
by Kathy A Jones
April 21, 2016

If you’ve done well recently by investing in high-yield and long-term bonds, take heed: It’s unusual for both to outperform at the same time.

Earnings Season for Investors: It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
by Jeffrey Kleintop
April 18, 2016

The Boston Marathon offers investors an important lesson in behavioral biases for investors to keep in mind this earnings season as companies may lower their outlook for profits.

Bond Ladders: A Useful Tool for Retirement Income
by Rob Williams
April 18, 2016

Bond ladders can help you manage cash needs in retirement, allowing you potentially to take more risk elsewhere in your portfolio.

Pension Woes: Why Chicago Doesn’t Represent the Entire Muni Market
by Cooper J Howard and Rob Williams
April 11, 2016

Pensions represent a burden on the $3.7 trillion muni market but most municipalities are able to meet their regular pension expense.

Looking for Extra Yield? The Case for Preferreds
by Collin Martin
April 11, 2016

Preferreds share characteristics with both stocks and bonds, and offer higher yields than most traditional fixed income investments.

Will Rising U.S. Debt Levels Keep the Fed On Hold?
by Kathy A Jones
April 04, 2016

Rising interest rates could add to the national debt burden, but that isn’t likely to deter further Fed hikes.

What do the stock market trends in the first quarter mean for Q2 and beyond?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
April 04, 2016

Stocks’ wild ride and dominant themes in the first quarter hold key messages for investors about the second quarter and beyond.

Are Central Banks Out of Options?
by Michelle Gibley
March 24, 2016

We are monitoring three indicators to gauge the effectiveness of central bank efforts to stimulate economic growth: loan rates, loan demand and fiscal policy. 

How to Build a Bond Portfolio
by Rob Williams
March 21, 2016

The bond market is large and complex, so it helps to focus on bonds that provide diversification, stability and income. 

Risks to the Rally: What Could End the Stock Market Rebound?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
March 21, 2016

Since the start of November the global stock market has been retracing the pattern seen in the second half of last year. We see three risks to the rally, but also see reasons to believe it is not over yet.

Not Always Tax Free: 7 Municipal Bond Tax Traps
by Cooper J Howard and Rob Williams
March 10, 2016

If you're interested in tax-free municipal bonds, you might want to keep an eye out for these seven tax traps.

Trust but Verify: Five Independent Indicators of China’s Economy
by Jeffrey Kleintop
March 07, 2016

Some data coming out of China could be considered questionable. Learn where to look for a more accurate picture.

Is That High-Yield Bond Too Good to Be True?
by Collin Martin
February 25, 2016

High-yield bonds may look appealing, but they come with additional default and volatility risks.

Don’t Look Back: Surviving in a Low-Yield World
by Kathy A Jones
February 25, 2016

The Fed's rate increase hasn't offered bond investors the relief they were seeking, so caution remains the order of the day.

Brexit: 5 Things Investors Need to Know
by Jeffrey Kleintop
February 22, 2016

Britain will hold a referendum on June 23 to decide whether to remain in the EU or to “Brexit”. Investors can expect more volatility in the markets as the effects on the U.K. and Eurozone economy are considered.

Corporate Bond Investors: Check Your Sectors
by Collin Martin
February 18, 2016

The recent drop in commodity prices is a reminder that sector risk can shake up the corporate bond market.

How Will Low Oil Prices Affect Municipal Bonds?
by Cooper J Howard and Rob Williams
February 12, 2016

Will low oil prices hurt your municipal bonds? It depends on the types of issuers and where they’re located.

Market Volatility: What Investors Should Know
by Schwab Center for Financial Research
February 11, 2016

Market volatility can make anyone nervous. Here's what investors should know now.

Low Rates, Volatile Markets: Income Investing Outlook 2016
by Rob Williams
February 10, 2016

Boosting your investment income is possible, but it will take patience and a carefully balanced portfolio.

Negative Interest Rate Policy Adds Up To Less than Zero for Investors
by Jeffrey Kleintop
February 08, 2016

While central banks’ QE programs lifted stock prices in recent years, the latest shift by central banks to negative interest rate policy seems to be weighing on stocks and may be working against their intentions of promoting economic growth.

Currency Wars: Is a Weaker Currency Good or Bad?
by Michelle Gibley
February 03, 2016

What can currency wars do for an economy?

Where Does the Fed Go From Here?
by Kathy A Jones
January 28, 2016

Having just raised interest rates and expressed optimism about the outlook for the economy and inflation, Federal Reserve officials can hardly reverse course just because of volatile stock markets. 

Central Banks to the Rescue?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
January 25, 2016

Rather than rescuing investors, comments from central bankers are more likely to create volatility in the markets until the global economic path is clearer.

2016 International Investing: Why Laggards Don't Necessarily Produce Winners
by Michelle Gibley
January 21, 2016

We explain why buying the worst-performing country’s stock index doesn't necessarily result in a strong return in the following year. 

Corporate Bonds: Tread Carefully in High-Yield Market in 2016
by Collin Martin
January 20, 2016

Despite temptingly high yields, we see risks in the high-yield bond market. Low commodity prices, low liquidity and deteriorating fundamentals could lead to further price declines in 2016.

Fixed Income Outlook 2016: New Year, Same Road Map
by Kathy A Jones
January 15, 2016

Bond markets could struggle with uncertainty this year, so investors may want to avoid risky bonds. 

Municipal Bonds: After Outperforming Stocks in 2015, What's Ahead in 2016?
by Cooper J Howard and Rob Williams
January 13, 2016

Municipal bonds not only outperformed most other major bond categories in 2015, but the S&P 500 Index, as well.

Geopolitical risks in 2016: Is your portfolio prepared?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
January 11, 2016

There are three basic guidelines for investors when it comes to assessing the investment implications of geopolitical events.

Why the Chinese Currency Decline is Rattling Markets
by Kathy A Jones
January 07, 2016

The steady Chinese currency decline since last August has sent chills throughout the global markets. Here’s why, and what investors should know.

Chinese Stock Market Selloff: What’s New, What’s Not
by Jeffrey Kleintop
January 04, 2016

The Shanghai Composite’s 7% drop may not be as concerning as it first appears. Some of the weakness may be a delayed reaction to the Chinese stock market decline last July.

How Rate Hikes Impact International Stock Markets
by Jeffrey Kleintop
December 21, 2015

The central banks of 20 nations raised interest rates in 2015, but not all countries are as well–positioned as the U.S. to handle the impact of rate hikes.

Junk Bond Selloff: What ETF Investors Should Know
by Michael Iachini
December 15, 2015

The junk bond selloff has raised fears about bond ETFs. Here's what investors should know.

Proceed with Caution: High-Yield Bonds Face a Triple Threat
by Kathy A Jones and Collin Martin
December 14, 2015

The recent junk bond selloff highlights the challenges in high-yield bond investing. Here are some steps for investors to consider.

Know What You Own: Why Not All General Obligation Bonds are Created Equal
by Cooper J Howard and Rob Williams
December 09, 2015

The outcome of the Detroit bankruptcy illustrates how important it is for municipal bond investors to know what they own.

Investing in Bonds: Should You Choose Individual Bonds or Bond Funds?
by Rob Williams
December 09, 2015

When investing in bonds, should you choose individual bonds or bond funds? Here are a few guidelines.

Decoding Devaluations: What Do Currency Moves Mean for Your Money?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
December 07, 2015

Find out more on how currency devaluations could impact your investment portfolio.

Why Our Outlook for European Stocks Is Positive
by Michelle Gibley
December 04, 2015

We see European growth accelerating in 2016 as the European Central Bank extends stimulus, creating support for European stocks.

3 Levers to Help Your Retirement Income Last in a Declining Market
by Rob Williams
December 01, 2015

When the market dips, you can adjust your allocation, rein in spending, or buy annuities to help make your portfolio last. We discuss which levers work best.

Devil Inside, Redux: Another Look at the Variety of U.S. Market Valuation Metrics
by Liz Ann Sonders
November 30, 2015

Looking again at some popular valuation metrics, it’s a mixed bag … with mixed messages, suggesting as always that valuation is in the eye of the beholder.

India Becomes World’s Fastest Growing Economy: What Investors Need to Know
by Jeffrey Kleintop
November 23, 2015

India has taken the title of the world’s fastest growing economy from China. Despite obvious similarities, the differences between these two economies mean the new leadership holds unique impacts for the global economy and markets.

Is the Federal Reserve Rate Hike Mystery About to Be Solved?
by Kathy A Jones
November 12, 2015

Changes to the Federal Reserve's economic model, coupled with a strong October jobs report, suggest the Fed may finally be on the verge of hiking interest rates.

What are earnings reports telling us about the global economy?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
November 09, 2015

Find out what company earnings reports are telling us about the global economy.

Why the Illinois Downgrade Shouldn't Scare You Away From State Municipal Bonds
by Cooper J Howard and Rob Williams
November 06, 2015

Although Illinois and a few other states are suffering financial troubles, most states' municipal bonds offer strong credit quality and relatively attractive yields.

Why China's Slowdown May Be a Good Thing
by Michelle Gibley
November 05, 2015

Changes in China’s reserve currency status, growth, and economic make-up are signs of its gradual transformation into a developed country, a long term positive.

Why Barbells and Bond Ladders May Make Sense As a Fed Rate Hike Nears
by Collin Martin
October 28, 2015

Bond barbells and ladders can allow investors to benefit from fixed income investments even as the Federal Reserve is expected to hike interest rates.

Bargain Hunters Beware: Is the Rally for Real?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
October 26, 2015

Investors shouldn’t mistake the double-digit rebounds seen in some emerging markets this month as an all-clear sign to snap up bargains.

6 Reasons Foreign Treasury Selling Is Unlikely to Affect Interest Rates
by Kathy A Jones
October 16, 2015

Although foreign investors have been selling U.S. Treasuries recently, we believe this is unlikely to lead to higher interest rates.

Help Keep Volatility From Derailing Your Retirement Plan
by Rob Williams
October 12, 2015

To help lower the damage from volatility and keep your retirement plan on track, consider investing a chunk of your portfolio in relatively stable assets that can withstand wild price swings.

Global Economy to be Stronger in 2016
by Jeffrey Kleintop
October 12, 2015

Despite fears of a global slowdown or recession, we foresee a stronger world economy in 2016 than in 2015 or 2014.

Deflation: What Investors Need to Know
by Michelle Gibley
October 06, 2015

Deflation, or falling prices, troubles markets due in part to the potential hit to corporate earnings. We believe global deflation is unlikely.

European Refugee Crisis: Five Takeaways for Investors
by Jeffrey Kleintop
September 28, 2015

As thousands of people continue to cross into Europe each day, there are economic and political implications for investors to consider beyond the tragic human suffering.

The First Rate Hike: Watch the Dollar
by Kathy A Jones
September 24, 2015

We explain why the U.S. dollar is a key factor in Federal Reserve decisions to change—or not change—interest rates.

Getting to Know Pre-Refunded Bonds
by Cooper J Howard
September 10, 2015

Looking for high-credit quality bonds? Consider "Pre-Re's."

Video | Market Snapshot: Perspective on Global Economy and Market Volatility
by Jeffrey Kleintop
September 02, 2015

Jeff Kleintop answers the question, “Is the global economy driving recent stock market volatility?”

How Floating Rate Bonds Should Benefit When the Fed Raises Rates
by Collin Martin
September 01, 2015

Floating-rate bonds benefit when the Fed finally begins to raise rates—but not all of them will see immediate gains. 

How to Invest for Changing Global Growth
by Jeffrey Kleintop
August 31, 2015

Questions about global growth abound; but fears may be overblown and investors could benefit.

Video | Schwab Market Snapshot: Market Correction? Don’t Panic
by Liz Ann Sonders
August 24, 2015

Liz Ann Sonders discusses the market correction, the panic investors often feel and positive steps to take instead.

Panic Is Not a Strategy—Nor Is Greed
by Liz Ann Sonders
August 24, 2015

In a world where time horizons have shrunk precipitously, think longer term.

Why Are Bond Yields Falling If the Fed Is Going to Hike Interest Rates?
by Kathy A Jones
August 19, 2015

Diminished inflation expectations, slow global growth, and changing demographics are some of the forces driving persistent low yields in U.S. bonds.

Five Global Market Impacts of Climate Change
by Jeffrey Kleintop
August 17, 2015

Climate change stands out as a market force with five potential global market impacts in the years to come.

Video | Bond Snapshot: Back to Bond Basics – Why Own Bonds?
by Kathy A Jones
August 10, 2015

Why own bonds if the Fed is raising interest rates? Join Kathy Jones for a discussion of the bond market and how the Fed rate hike might affect your investments.

How the Municipal Bond Insurance Market Has Changed Since the Great Recession
by Cooper J Howard and Rob Williams
August 06, 2015

Bond insurance can add a layer of protection, but tends to come with a slightly higher cost and lower yield on the bonds it covers.

Global Perspective: The Right International Stock Allocation May Be More Than You Think
by Jeffrey Kleintop
July 20, 2015

How much of your portfolio you should consider allocating to non-U.S. stocks and why.

Corporate Bond Outlook: Volatility, Price Declines May Lie Ahead
by Collin Martin
July 16, 2015

While corporate bond yields have risen this year on expectations of an interest rate hike, we think they may have room to increase further.

Video | Market Snapshot: U.S. Stock Market Running to Stand Still
by Liz Ann Sonders
July 13, 2015

Liz Ann Sonders considers what’s holding the U.S. markets in a sideways pattern, looking both globally and in the U.S., and whether we’re in a speculative phase for stocks.

With Puerto Rico Debt "Not Payable," Odds of a Restructuring Increase
by Cooper J Howard and Rob Williams
July 13, 2015

We believe Puerto Rico's likely debt restructuring will have a limited impact on the rest of the municipal bond market.

Global Bond Investing: Why You Should Worry About Currency Risk
by Kathy A Jones
June 18, 2015

With the dollar strong and U.S. interest rates poised to rise, we explain how currency risk from international bond investing could compromise your portfolio. 

7 Reasons You Should Care That an Emerging Markets Index May Add Chinese Stocks
by Michelle Gibley
June 16, 2015

As China’s markets expand and more of its stocks become accessible to international investors, its importance in your portfolio will likely grow. 

Bond Market Liquidity Could Shrink When Rates Rise
by Kathy A Jones
June 15, 2015

When the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, market liquidity could become a problem for bonds.

Devil Inside: Dissecting the Most Popular Valuation Metrics
by Liz Ann Sonders
May 18, 2015

Shiller’s CAPE says the US stock market is grossly overvalued; while traditional P/Es say only mildly so…what’s to make of the wide gap?

Video | Bond Snapshot: Higher Interest Rates: Risks and Opportunities
by Kathy A Jones
May 18, 2015

With a potential rate hike by the Federal Reserve on the horizon, join Kathy Jones as she discusses the risks and potential opportunities that come with a shift in policy.

Video | Straight Talk: Market Grinding Higher but Can It Keep Bears At Bay?
by Liz Ann Sonders
May 11, 2015

This stock market update offers insights into U.S. market’s steady grind higher and considers the short-term gyrations and the catalysts that might move the needle.

Why Corporate Profits Are Falling and What It Means for the Stock Market
by Jeffrey Kleintop
May 04, 2015

With global economic growth on the upswing, we think the recent decline in global corporate profits will be short-lived. 

Corporate Bonds vs. Municipals: Which Make More Sense Now?
by Rob Williams and Collin Martin
April 29, 2015

With after-tax yields comparable to corporate bonds, are municipals now an opportunity for traditional corporate bond investors? 

FAQ: Tax Tips for Retirement Income
by Rob Williams
April 10, 2015

Our tax tips for cutting your bill to the IRS can help increase your retirement income and allow your portfolio to last longer.

Video | Global Snapshot: International Stocks Out in Front
by Jeffrey Kleintop
April 06, 2015

Jeff Kleintop discusses the strong performance of international stocks and the dollar, the impact of currency movements on international investing, as well as the outlook for inflation abroad and for Global earnings.

How to Create a Sustainable Retirement Spending Plan
by Rob Williams
February 25, 2015

To set up a sustainable retirement spending plan, we recommend tapping multiple sources of cash flow.

Schwab Bond Insights: Bank-Loan Funds, Green Bonds
by Cooper J Howard, Rob Williams and Collin Martin
February 17, 2015

In this issue, we cover the risks of bank-loan funds, and explain how green bonds work.

Why ECB QE May Not Boost European Stocks For Long
by Michelle Gibley
January 30, 2015

Several ingredients are missing in order for the European Central Bank's (ECB) quantitative easing (QE) program to be successful, so a European stock rally may not last.

Retirement Income Strategies: 3 Key Building Blocks
by Rob Williams
January 15, 2015

We outline three key building blocks to help develop your retirement income strategies.

International Investments 2015: Top 5 Global Issues to Watch
by Michelle Gibley
January 14, 2015

If you're considering making international investments in 2015, we recommend you keep these issues in mind. 

Video | Global Snapshot: Outlook 2015
by Jeffrey Kleintop
January 09, 2015

Jeffrey Kleintop shares his 2015 outlook for global markets, comparing the U.S. and international markets, opportunities in emerging markets, and specific risks to watch out for.

Top 5 Ways Chinese Consumers Are Altering Global Investing
by Michelle Gibley
December 08, 2014

As the Chinese economy transitions to a more consumer-led growth pattern, global investors should be paying attention.

Video | Market Snapshot: As bull market continues, can economic growth be sustained?
by Liz Ann Sonders
December 04, 2014

Liz Ann Sonders discusses the possibilities for sustained economic growth and gives her stock market outlook in light of seasonal tendencies, valuations and investor sentiment.

Will International Stocks Outperform in 2015?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
November 25, 2014

The U.S. current account—a measure of trade and investment flows in and out of the U.S.—may provide clues to where international stocks are headed relative to U.S. stocks.

Video | Straight Talk: Stock Market Trends Post Mid-term Elections
by Liz Ann Sonders and Michael T Townsend
November 13, 2014

What is on the stock market horizon for the rest of 2014 and the start of the new year?

How Earnings Season Is Like Homecoming for Investors
by Jeffrey Kleintop
October 15, 2014

Earnings season is a time for investors to focus on the traditional measure of value: earnings.

Video | Market Snapshot: Fed Policy—A change is coming!
by Liz Ann Sonders
October 10, 2014

Liz Ann Sonders discusses the path to the Fed's initial interest rate hike, what it will mean to the markets, and the impact of the strong U.S. dollar.

Retirement Income Planning: What's Your Risk Capacity?
by Rob Williams
September 30, 2014

You've probably heard about risk tolerance, but when it comes to retirement income planning, a more important thing to understand is your risk capacity.

Does the ECB's QE Make European Stocks Attractive?
by Michelle Gibley
September 18, 2014

Will the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing plan give the European economy the boost it needs?

Are You Really Diversified?
by Charles Schwab & Co Inc
August 28, 2014

The story behind correlations and why investors should care.

The Case for Global Real Estate
by Anthony Davidow
August 21, 2014

Do you think of real estate as the investment in your home? It may make sense to diversify your portfolio with some global real estate investments too.

Video | Bond Snapshot: The Year of the Taper
by Kathy A Jones
February 25, 2014

Kathy Jones shares her 2014 outlook for the fixed income market and considers impact of Fed’s tapering, heightened volatility, and road to higher interest rates.

Building Bond Ladders for Income
by Kathy A Jones
February 04, 2014

Building a bond ladder can help you earn income now. Plus, bond ladders give you the flexibility to reinvest in higher-yielding bonds if interest rates rise.

Video | Economic Lessons from the Stock Market
by Liz Ann Sonders
December 06, 2013

Liz Ann Sonders delves into the relationship between the economy and the stock market. She shares what she watches for, and why, in the leading, coincident and lagging economic indicators to develop her guidance on where she sees the markets headed.

Video | Bond Snapshot: Bracing for the Bumpy Ride to Higher Rates
by Kathy A Jones
November 05, 2013

Kathy Jones discusses the rocky road to higher interest rates and offers ideas for navigating your bond portfolio through this challenging interest rate cycle.

Is the Interest Rate Outlook Closer to 1994 or the Post-World War II Era?
by Kathy A Jones
August 21, 2013

Looking for insight into the current interest rate outlook? We suggest you consider the post-World War II period of the 1940s and 1950s.

Municipal Revenue Bonds in a Fixed Income Portfolio
by Rob Williams
November 28, 2012

Given continued strains on state and local governments, investors might consider using municipal revenue bonds to help diversify existing portfolios of general obligation bonds.




Investors should consider carefully information contained in the prospectus, including investing objectives, risks, charges and expenses. You can request a prospectus by calling 800-435-4000. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing.

Performance may be affected by risks associated with non-diversification, including investments in specific countries or sectors. Additional risks may also include, but are not limited to, investments in foreign securities, especially emerging markets, real estate investment trusts (REITs), fixed income and small capitalization securities. Each individual investor should consider these risks carefully before investing in a particular security or strategy.