Thursday, October 31, 2013

Who’s impacted by the Fed’s announcement yesterday?

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve announced that it would continue its current policies: buying $85 billion in Treasury and mortgage-backed securities each month, and keeping short-term interest low.

This has the most direct impact on the bond market. Investors of all stripes hold bonds, but particularly retirees who are typically looking for income and relative safety. The irony is, this year the bond market has been anything but safe. It’s been highly volatile as the market contemplates a change in Fed policy. Many bond portfolios have generated negative returns as bond prices have fallen.

What can an investor do? There are some strategies that a professional financial advisor can put in place to help. As we’ve discussed in previous blog posts, our strategy has been to focus on bonds with shorter maturities in order to avoid price volatility.

For investors looking for income, we’ve implemented different strategies—beyond bond portfolios—to try to meet that goal. While interest rates are beginning to rise, they’re still extremely low by historical standards, so alternatives such as our Paid in Advance® strategy may offer a more suitable answer for income-seeking investors.

--Nick Asmus, Wade Financial Group Investment Department

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