Municipal Bond Forum

FMSbonds, Inc.’s Municipal Bond Forum is an exclusive opportunity for investors to submit questions and comments on the bond market or to respond to one of our articles.

To participate, just send us an e-mail. Be sure to include your name or initials and your state of residence. Posted e-mails may be edited for length and clarity. If you prefer a private response, please note that in your e-mail. Responses are provided by James A. Klotz, president and co-founder of FMSbonds, Inc., a municipal bond specialist for more than 35 years, and other members of the firm as noted.

Postings are listed by date. If you have any questions, please call us at 1-800-FMS-BOND (1-800-367-2663) or e-mail us.

Dont let short-sighted decisions obscure the bigger picture

Regarding your article on Detroit ("Investors in Michigan Munis Strike Back"), I think Michigan’s governor needs to understand the impact of his short-sighted decisions. Every day it seems to get worse in the muni market. I keep reading that a rally will occur soon. What is your opinion?

Detroit and 'Whoops' not similar

Are there any similarities between Detroit's situation and the “Whoops” (WPPSS) muni bonds from the ‘70's?

Ratings agencies cautious on Puerto Rico

Though there have been numerous articles on how the new government of Puerto Rico has made great strides in fixing its pension problem and operating budget, the ratings agencies refuse to increase their credit rating and seem to focus on the negative. Where do you think the bottom is on Puerto Rico bonds and how will their electric bond sale affect the market?

Why market insight matters

I own Detroit General Obligation water bonds insured by National. My financial adviser told me that as the city’s problems wind through the courts, Detroit won’t pay timely interest and only my principal of $40,000 will continue to be insured by National. The price of these bonds stands at 86.999 as of July 22, 2013, and continues to go down every day. Your thoughts?

Insurers responsible

My husband and I have quite a few Detroit General Obligation bonds back by AMBAC and other insurers. Aren't the insurers responsible for paying us if the city defaults on these G.O. bond payments?

Makes sense for California resident

I am managing the portfolio of my mother's estate and her investment manager has put a significant amount of her portfolio into mostly California municipal “AAA” or “AA” bonds with a range of 10- to 30-year maturities over the last year. Should I be worried that these bonds are going to deplete the estate's assets should she pass away?

What bond insurance does

Can you explain what insurance is and how it works? What is the risk? Is a bond with insurance as safe as a CD with FDIC insurance?

Why it's helpful to ignore prognosticators

We received an e-mail warning bondholders of higher interest rates and strategies to make a lot of money quickly. More than half of our retirement portfolio is with FMSbonds. We entrusted our funds with you in the hope that we do not have to worry about the future, regardless of interest rates, etc.

Reinvesting interest

I hold both muni funds (long term) and a large portfolio of individual munis. Now that my paper gains in the funds have evaporated, I question the wisdom of bond funds vs. individual bonds. I see the drop in prices as good news, but in the bond funds I have no "par value" to rely upon, and I am at the mercy of "yield seekers." Is my automatic reinvestment of interest in the muni fund a sound "cost averaging" strategy for a buy-and-hold investor?

S&P action in Detroit reflects Moodys view

I read where Standard & Poor’s just downgraded Detroit water and sewer bond ratings because of concerns over the possibility of the water and sewer board being restructuctered. Apparently, this might change everything for bondholders. Any thoughts on this new development?
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