Reducing risk, generating income
As you get older and closer to realizing your financial goals, you may wish to reduce your risk exposure significantly by reallocating funds to income-producing assets. These can include government and corporate bonds, guaranteed income certificates (GICs) or bank money market deposit accounts (MMDAs).
TM Marlowe Group focuses primarily on investment-grade bonds, those rated by S&P and Fitch, the credit rating agencies, at BBB or above. Depending on the coupon payable on the bond, these instruments can produce a steady income that keeps pace with inflation. Also, due to market mechanics, bonds tend to perform best when stock markets are depressed, so they act as a hedge against extreme equity market volatility.
When a country, state or city needs to borrow money, it issues bonds. These pay the holder an annual yield (essentially interest on the loan) for periods of up to thirty years, after which the original purchase price is repaid. US Treasury bonds are considered among the very safest investments because they’re backed by the integrity of the United States government. Municipal bonds, issued by state and local governments, have the added benefit of being exempt from federal income taxes.
Corporate bonds function similarly but are issued by public and private corporations. Because they’re backed by the payment ability of the company, which could possibly fail, they usually have higher interest rates. These bonds are rated by the credit rating agencies, such as Standard & Poor’s. The safest bonds are rated AAA and any bond rated below BBB is considered non-investment grade.
TM Marlowe Group generally invests in the bond market through bond funds and bond ETFs, which invest in government and corporate bonds and other debt instruments including mortgage-backed securities. The primary function of these funds is to generate regular monthly income.