Financial advisers are starting to shift their bond fund allocations to adjust for a longer period of low interest rates with an eye toward rising rates in coming years.
Frank Jaffe of Roseland, N.J., recently sold out of PIMCO Total Return Fund (symbol: PTTAX) and the Loomis Sayles Bond Fund (LSBRX), and reallocated that money for clients into the PIMCO Emerging Local Bond Fund (PELAX). In March, he also started buying a floating-rate bond fund, the Eaton Vance Floating-Rate Advantaged Fund (EAFAX).
"We were worried about rates starting to go up, and to some extent, we've been vindicated," Jaffe said. He still holds the Templeton Global Bond Fund (TPINX), as he has for many years.
At the start of 2013, Jaffe said, most of his clients were no more than 60 percent invested in equities. Fixed income typically accounted for the rest of their investments, with a small percentage in precious metals, via the First Eagle Gold Fund (SGGDX).
Jaffe also has been recommending a "pseudo-fixed income" fund, the Merger Fund (MERFX), which invests in mergers and acquisitions.
Indulge a fantasy
Fantasy stock trading, meet the Facebook generation.
Two local men, Laurence Cohen and Lewis Schlossberg, founded WallStreetMagnate.com to help amateur Wall Streeters learn how to trade for fun - and, best of all, free. The childhood friends, both 35, attended elementary school in Bala Cynwyd and launched the site in May.
After you sign up with an e-mail address or Facebook account, a WallStreetMagnate "apprentice trader" (your status when you join) can start trading with $100,000 in virtual money. Members can trade stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, or the American Stock Exchange. (Non-U.S. stocks can also be traded through American depositary receipts, or ADR.)
"There are no long tutorials, no jargon. It's free and there are no ads," says Schlossberg. Students in particular are taking to the site, especially at Villanova, Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and the University of Pennsylvania, Cohen says.