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Schwab Investing Brief

Geography, Growth, and Municipal Bonds: Where to Invest Now
by Cooper J Howard
October 01, 2015

We outline some steps municipal bond investors can take to help them decide which areas to invest in.

Preferred Securities Can Offer Opportunities for Yield-Seeking Investors
by Collin Martin
September 30, 2015

Preferred securities can offer benefits to long-term, yield-seeking investors, even if the Fed raises rates this year. 

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."

After Greek Turmoil, Should You Give European Stocks a Chance?
by Michelle Gibley
September 08, 2015

We think there are more reasons to be bullish than bearish about European stocks. 

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. 

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.

Currency Wars: Is a Weaker Currency Good or Bad?
by Michelle Gibley
August 14, 2015

What can currency wars do for an economy?

How Has the Rise in Distressed Debt Affected the High-Yield Bond Market?
by Collin Martin
August 11, 2015

An increase in distressed debt is making risky high-yield bonds even riskier, yet investors haven't been compensated with better performance.

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.

What Does the Dollar's Strength Mean for Investors?
by Kathy A Jones
July 23, 2015

The dollar's strength tends to restrain commodity prices and inflation, and boost the performance of U.S. assets relative to foreign investments. 

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.

Currency Hedging: 5 Things You Need to Know
by Michelle Gibley
July 16, 2015

Consider your time horizon before employing currency hedging for your international stock investments.

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.

Can Bond Funds Make Sense When Interest Rates Rise?
by Rob Williams
July 09, 2015

Short-term bond funds have turned in the best performance of any major bond fund category in the last three rate-tightening cycles.

China's Stock Plunge – What You Need to Know
by Michelle Gibley
July 08, 2015

China’s stock market has fallen dramatically. What are the implications and what should investors do?

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.

Mortgage-Backed Securities: Single Security Plan for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Moves Forward
by Collin Martin
May 29, 2015

A proposal for a single common mortgage-backed security that could be issued by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac recently took a step closer to reality.

Chicago's New Junk Bond Rating: Implications for Muni Markets
by Cooper J Howard and Rob Williams
May 20, 2015

What do investors need to know now that Moody's Investors Service has slashed Chicago's bond rating two notches to below investment grade?

Surging Bond Yields: Temporary Correction or New Trend?
by Kathy A Jones
May 15, 2015

Although the steep rise in yields since mid-April looks overdone to us, yields may keep climbing as easy foreign central bank policies raise expectations for growth and inflation.

International Investment: Political Risk May No Longer Be a Reason to Avoid Europe
by Jeffrey Kleintop
May 13, 2015

As mainstream parties regain ground lost to newer rivals, the increased political stability is making Europe more attractive for investors.

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. 

How Will the Drought Affect California's Municipal Bonds?
by Cooper J Howard and Rob Williams
April 30, 2015

While the drought could dent revenues at some California water bond issuers, we think the state's general obligation bonds will be largely unaffected.

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? 

The Bond Investor's Trilemma: Positioning for a Fed Rate Hike
by Kathy A Jones
April 16, 2015

Bond investors preparing for a Fed rate hike should consider the changing shape of the yield curve, the pricing of risk and declining liquidity. 

Don't Let International Elections Deter You From Your Investment Goals
by Michelle Gibley
April 16, 2015

Upcoming elections overseas threaten market volatility, but don't take your eyes off your international investment plan. 

Mastering Global Diversification: What the Masters Tells Us About the Markets
by Jeffrey Kleintop
April 15, 2015

As economic growth becomes more widespread, global investment diversification has become more crucial for 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.

4 Reasons to Be Cautious About High-Yield Municipal Bonds
by Cooper J Howard and Rob Williams
April 08, 2015

Investors chasing yield may be looking at high-yield municipal bonds as an alternative to corporate bonds, but high-yield munis carry plenty of risks of their own. 

One of the Most Important Indicators of Growth Has Turned Positive for Europe
by Jeffrey Kleintop
April 01, 2015

Loan growth is picking up in the eurozone, which could indicate more spending and hiring, and increased growth for the European economy down the road.

4 Reasons Japanese Stocks Could Continue to Rise
by Michelle Gibley
March 31, 2015

Japanese stocks deserve a look from investors for reasons that go beyond Abenomics and the Bank of Japan's quantitative easing program.

March Madness in the Stock Market: Which Factors Will Win the Influence Game?
by Jeffrey Kleintop
March 18, 2015

If we looked at stock market drivers as akin to the NCAA's March Madness, which factors would most influence the results?

The Fed, Housing Prices, Stocks and the Theory of Everything
by Jeffrey Kleintop
March 13, 2015

Should the Federal Reserve raise interest rates before the U.S. housing market has fully recovered?

Your Retirement Plan: How to Transition Your Portfolio for Retirement
by Rob Williams
March 13, 2015

Learn how a smart plan to shift your investments over time can position your portfolio to be ready for retirement.

Opportunities with Preferred Stocks and Securities
by Collin Martin
March 05, 2015

With the average yield on preferred stocks at an all-time low, investors may want to take an active approach to investing in these securities.

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.

Global Earnings Per Share Could Rebound Soon
by Jeffrey Kleintop
February 18, 2015

After peaking for the third time in eight years, will global earnings per share continue falling, or will they bounce back?

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.

What Changes Will New Congress Bring for Investors?
by Michael T Townsend
February 09, 2015

Even with Republicans in control of the new Congress, we think the gridlock will persist on many issues. Here's our list of key dates and issues to watch.

Don't Be Fooled by Currency This Earnings Season
by Jeffrey Kleintop
February 04, 2015

Earnings growth in Europe is expected to outpace the U.S. this year, but a critical factor is the euro's weakness against the dollar.

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.

Eurozone Economy: The ECB Can't Save It
by Jeffrey Kleintop
January 22, 2015

Unless structural reforms are taken to address the root causes of deflation, any boost to the eurozone economy from the ECB's actions this week will likely be temporary. 

Federal Reserve: What's the Outlook for Interest Rates in 2015?
by Kathy A Jones
January 22, 2015

With inflation below the Fed's target but economic growth on the upswing, the interest rate outlook is fuzzy in 2015.

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. 

Contrarian Investing: Be Prepared for the Top 5 Surprises in 2015
by Jeffrey Kleintop
January 07, 2015

In five areas of economics and finance, investors may want to be ready for possible surprises with a contrarian investing plan.

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.

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.

What Central Banks Have Learned About Interest Rate Hikes
by Jeffrey Kleintop
November 13, 2014

A number of economies have had to reverse interest rate hikes in the last five years. What have central banks learned from this experience?

What the “Shutdown” by Europe's Government Means for Stocks
by Jeffrey Kleintop
October 30, 2014

While the European Central Bank is prevented from enacting more aggressive stimulus, the European stock market may underperform.

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.

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.

Not Always Tax Free: 7 Tax Traps of Municipal Bond Investing
by Cooper J Howard and Rob Williams
September 24, 2014

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

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Reform of Housing Giants Remains in Limbo
by Michael T Townsend
July 01, 2014

With efforts to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stalled this year, it will likely be 2015 before we see another attempt at reform. 

Preferred Securities: Are They a Smart Investment Now?
by Collin Martin
May 21, 2014

Preferred securities have delivered double-digit returns this year, but we think the bull run may not last.

Bonds: What You Need to Know About Yields
by Collin Martin
April 10, 2014

It's not hard to understand yield to maturity and the other types of bond yields. Here's what you need to know.

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.