Muni debt caution

When I look at the funding sources for muni debt I get worried

By Jim Van Meerten Sep 10, 2010 10:21AM
Those of you who follow my blogs know that I am not an advocate of those that try to predict the future and where the market is headed. I let the numbers tell me what to do. I've got a little butterfly in my stomach and I want your opinions.

Let's use some common sense. You normally buy bonds for capital appreciation when yields are coming down because bond prices then go up. The other factor in the equation is: " Can the underlying debtor pay interest and principal payments when due".

Bond prices and in particular bond funds and ETFs have been enjoying price appreciation that have made them very attractive additions to your portfolios. I've been buying them too because the numbers have been positive.

Here are my concerns:
  1. Bond yields are about as low as they can get so the upside price appreciation seems to have peaked
  2. The newspapers are filled with news of cities, school boards, county and states in fiscal crisis.
  3. Unemployment and real estate foreclosures and defaults are at an all time high.
  4. Most municipalities and states depend on income taxes, sales taxes and property taxes to pay their debt obligations

My caution tells me to begin to lighten my portfolios of any public debt instruments at the slightest sign of weakness. Am I being overly cautious? I'd like your views, please comment and give me your feedback.

 

Jim Van Meerten is an investor who writes on investing here and on Barchart Portfolio Blogs. Please leave a comment below or email JimVanMeerten@gmail.com.

 

Disclosure: No positions in the stock mentioned at the time of publication

2Comments
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

STOCK SCOUTER

StockScouter rates stocks from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, using a system of advanced mathematics to determine a stock's expected risk and return. Ratings are displayed on a bell curve, meaning there will be fewer ratings of 1 and 10 and far more of 4 through 7.

114
114 rated 1
280
280 rated 2
473
473 rated 3
639
639 rated 4
637
637 rated 5
662
662 rated 6
640
640 rated 7
498
498 rated 8
287
287 rated 9
121
121 rated 10
12345678910

Top Picks

SYMBOLNAMERATING
COPCONOCOPHILLIPS9
TAT&T Inc9
VZVERIZON COMMUNICATIONS9
KOGKODIAK OIL & GAS Corp9
CVXCHEVRON CORPORATION8
More

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

ABOUT

Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.

Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.

Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.