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For the article( Investing In Funds & ETFs: A Monthly Analysis ) complete the following steps: 

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  1. Include the title, author’s      name, and date of the publication 
  2. Describe the author’s purpose      
  3. Provide a summary of the      article 
  4. Create 2 questions that arise      when reading the article 

This assignment must be at least 2 pages in length and must include citations to show support for your statements.


Posted on: Monday, September 7, 2020 7:36:00 PM EDT

WSJ article Review 1-week 3: Topic: Bond Market

1. Title, Author, and Date of Publication

Title: “The New Bond Market: Bigger, Riskier, and More Fragile Than Ever”

Author: Colin Barr                              Date of Publication:  10/5/2015

2. Author’s Purpose

Barr’s (2015) purpose of this article is to educate readers about the changes that occurred in the bond market.  In addition, he is trying to educate readers about how these changes will affect their investments in the bond market.  The bond market is among the biggest financial markets in the world that is equivalent to 1.5 of the U.S. stock market (Barr, 2015).  It is also nearly twice the aggregate size of the five largest foreign stock markets.  Changes in the bond market would affect both domestically as well as foreign economies as there are investors worldwide in the U.S. bond market.  Therefore, it is important for all investors to understand the changes occurring within the bond market.

3. Summary of Article

            This article starts by describing how large the bond market as it is among the biggest financial markets in the world.  According to the Securities Industry and Financial Market Association, there were $39.5 trillion in outstanding bonds in mid-2015.  Bonds have historically been easily predictable and a relatively safe investment; however, due to price reversals and trading disruptions, bonds may be threatened.  Massive debt issuance and investor risk taking has fueled low interest rates (Barr, 2015).  This can affect how bonds are bought and sold.  Due to low interest rates, the Federal Reserve is preparing to raise interest rates putting the bond market under scrutiny.  If interest rates rose, it would be costlier to repay loans and bonds domestically as the Fed is tightening the financial market.  This would put additional stress on large borrowers, which would lead to new risks in the bond market.  Regulators are concerned that investors may not understand what is in their funds (Barr, 2015).  This would lead to market downsizing and may lead to rising redemptions of fund shares.  Then this would pressure funds to sell assets to raise cash and amplify selling pressure across the market.

            On one hand, events like the “taper tantrum” in 2013 and the “flash crash” in 2014 shows analysts and traders that the bond market is alarmingly fragile and is highly associated with stocks and commodities (Barr, 2015).  On the other hand, the bond market can make a come back on without intervention.  Trading in the 10-year German bund is an example of this.  On April 17th, the yield on the bund plunged to 0.05% (Barr, 2015).  Three weeks later, it rose to 0.786% “without a major news event or apparent brad shift in investor sentiment” (Barr, 2015, p. 4). 

            The article concludes by stating this greater volatility is “the price investors pay for progress” (Barr, 2015, p.4).  Due to recent low interest rates the Fed is considering raising, the investors in the bond market may get a chance to determine how comfortable they are with the trade off.

4. Questions

            This article raises many questions regarding the bond market and the Fed’s interventions with interest rates.  Individual investors can take the information provided in this article and complete further research how the changes in the bond market will affect them.  These are a few questions that arise as a result of this article.

· While this article does explain how the changes in the bond market will affect the industry as a whole but how will individual investors be affected?  What type of further research should an investor conduct before deciding whether or not to invest in the bond market?  What actions should current investors consider?

· While interest rates are low, leading to more lenders extending loans, is it necessary for the Fed to intervene and raise interest rates?  Or would the market fix itself over time?

Investing In Funds & ETFs: A Monthly Analysis — Ask Encore: A Do-It-Yourself Annuity: The Pros and Cons — Also: Answering a reader’s question on naming a charity as a 401(k) beneficiary Ruttenach, Glenn . Wall Street Journal , Eastern edition; New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]08 Sep 2020: R.4.

ProQuest document link

FULL TEXT Q: I’m approaching retirement, and the turmoil in the markets this year has me thinking, for the first time, about

buying an annuity. I like the idea of predictable income, but I don’t like the idea of handing my money, permanently,

to an insurance company. What do you think about a person building his or her own annuity? Is there a good way

to do this?

A: Yes, there are ways to create an annuity. And I think it’s wise to consider how an annuity might help you and

your nest egg. But I think the do-it-yourself approach can be difficult for many investors and carries some sizable


To start, I’ll focus on the product you seem to be considering: an immediate fixed annuity. In other words, you hand

a lump sum to an insurer, which, in turn, guarantees you a monthly paycheck for life. Period. (We’ll save, for

another day, talking about more-complicated products, such as equity-indexed annuities.)

If you wish to build something resembling an immediate fixed annuity, you could, for instance, assemble a “TIPS

ladder,” a collection of Treasury inflation-protected securities of various maturities. Or you could construct a bond

portfolio with high-quality corporate and municipal bonds. Both approaches would produce a predictable stream of


Even something as simple as a “balanced” mutual fund, one with a mix of stocks and bonds and a long history of

solid returns, could, in theory, serve as an annuity. An example: T. Rowe Price Balanced Fund (RPBAX) has posted

an average annual total return of 9.46% since its start in 1939.

The point: With each of these strategies, you retain control of your cash.

But let’s take a step back. Do you have the skills and time to build, say, a TIPS ladder or search for top-notch

bonds? I would argue that many people don’t. And a balanced fund, however simple, highlights some of the

limitations involved with the DIY route. Among them:

— Longevity: Even the best investments can have rough years, which could hurt the long-term prospects of a

homegrown annuity. That’s where a highly rated insurance company typically has an edge: It will keep pumping out

cash, year after year, regardless of market and economic conditions.

— Risk: Yes, TIPS and corporate bonds tend to be safer investments than most others-but there is still some risk.

State governments mitigate some of the risk of annuities by requiring insurers to maintain specific levels of capital

to make annuity payments. If you build your own annuity, you won’t have the protection of a regulator looking over

your shoulder.

— Discipline: You might be able to build an annuity-but will you have the discipline to keep from fiddling with it? Put

another way: Will the next market meltdown prompt you to undo your handiwork?

Again, I think it’s smart to look at annuities; most retirees want, and need, predictable lifetime income. But doinghttp://ezproxy.liberty.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.proquest.com%2Fdocview%2F2440605511%3Faccountid%3D12085http://ezproxy.liberty.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.proquest.com%2Fdocview%2F2440605511%3Faccountid%3D12085

this yourself could be a stretch. If you’re concerned about handing over your life savings to an insurer, consider

buying a series of smaller annuities from different insurers over a period of years. In this way, you reduce the risk

of any single insurer failing to make its payments. What’s more, if interest rates rise, you won’t be locked into an

annuity that’s tied to today’s low rates.

And always remember: The single best annuity is right under your nose-Social Security. The longer you wait to

claim it, the better the monthly payout, for life.

Q: I am a 78-year-old retiree taking required distributions from a 401(k) plan I accumulated while I was working. I

am considering naming a charitable organization as the plan’s beneficiary. When I die, will the funds be paid to the

charity without being taxed, or is there a provision in the tax code that would tax the payment?

A: The answer, happily, is simple. And this question gives me the chance to remind readers about a second way to

be charitable, one with its own tax advantages.

Yes, you can name a charity as the beneficiary of a retirement plan, and no, there would be no tax on the transfer to

the charity after your death.

“For anyone who is charitably inclined, funds like individual retirement accounts or 401(k)s are actually the best

assets to leave to a charity,” says Ed Slott, an IRA expert in Rockville Centre, N.Y. “That’s because they are loaded

with deferred taxes that will never get collected when the funds are donated.”

Still, you might decide, at some point, that you would like to see how your donations are helping others before you

pass on. In that event, consider making a qualified charitable distribution, or QCD.

As we’ve noted in earlier columns, a QCD is a tax break for individuals age 70½ or older. It allows you to transfer

money, tax-free, from an IRA to a charity. (And that presents a wrinkle for this reader: You first would have to roll

the funds from your 401(k) into an IRA to take advantage of a QCD.)

Recent changes in tax laws offer additional reasons to consider using a QCD, Mr. Slott says. For instance,

Congress recently ended the so-called stretch IRA, which allowed nonspouse beneficiaries (typically, children and

grandchildren) to stretch withdrawals from inherited IRAs, along with the tax bite, over their lifetimes. Now, such

individuals are required to withdraw all the money, and pay the associated taxes, within a decade of the original

account holder’s death.

Given that, QCDs could help your heirs in the long run. Let’s say you begin donating funds from your IRA in the form

of QCDs. When you die, your beneficiaries will inherit less of your IRA, which is taxable. But, ideally, these same

beneficiaries will inherit more of assets outside your IRA that might have been used for charitable contributions,

like cash, stocks, bonds or mutual funds. These, for the most part, won’t be taxable and/or will get a “step up” in

cost basis. (Meaning, in effect: Your heirs could save a bundle in capital-gains taxes.)

In short, Mr. Slott says, “by doing the QCDs, you are giving the taxable assets to charity — at no tax — and leaving

the other, better assets to your beneficiaries.”

Of course, decisions about bequests are highly personal. You might have good reasons for waiting to donate

money to a charity until after you die. (Example: You might need your required distribution each year to live on.)

And no single approach to gifting is necessarily better than another. Simply be aware that there are other options —

options with their own tax advantages — when it comes to helping others.

Mr. Ruffenach is a former reporter and editor for The Wall Street Journal. His column looks at financial issues for

those thinking about, planning and living their retirement. Send questions and comments to [email protected]

Credit: By Glenn Ruttenach DETAILS

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Database copyright  2020 ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions Contact ProQuest

Subject: Taxes; Donations; Municipal bonds; Bond portfolios; Retirement; Beneficiaries;

Annuities; Deferred compensation

Publication title: Wall Street Journal, Eastern edition; New York, N.Y.

First page: R.4

Publication year: 2020

Publication date: Sep 8, 2020

Publisher: Dow Jones &Company Inc

Place of publication: New York, N.Y.

Country of publication: United States, New York, N.Y.

Publication subject: Business And Economics–Banking And Finance

ISSN: 00999660

Source type: Newspapers

Language of publication: English

Document type: News

ProQuest document ID: 2440605511

Document URL: http://ezproxy.liberty.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.proquest.com%2Fdocvi


Copyright: Copyright 2020 Dow Jones &Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Last updated: 2020-09-08

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  • Investing In Funds & ETFs: A Monthly Analysis — Ask Encore: A Do-It-Yourself Annuity: The Pros and Cons — Also: Answering a reader’s question on naming a charity as a 401(k) beneficiary

BUSI 321

Wall Street Journal Article Review Instructions

Choose 5 different articles from the Wall Street Journal that cover the following areas during this course: 

1. Interest rates

2. Bond market

3. Stock market

4. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy

5. Mortgage market

6. Foreign exchange market

7. Depository Institutions

8. Insurance

9. Pension plan

10. Mutual funds

11. Forwards, futures, and options

12. Swaps

For each article, complete the following steps:

1. Include the title, author’s name, and date of the publication

2. Describe the author’s purpose

3. Provide a summary of the article

4. Create 2 questions that arise when reading the article

This assignment must be at least 2 pages in length and must include citations to show support for your statements.

You will turn in the first assignment in Module/Week 3, the next 2 in Module/Week 5, and the last 2 in Module/Week 7.

These assignments must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of the assigned module/week.

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