AAA. Aaa. Upgrade. Downgrade. On Watch. These are the headlines investors most associate with credit ratings agencies. But since the financial crisis in 2008, the ratings agencies have come under a lot of scrutiny. What really goes into a rating? How does the way ratings agencies get paid affect their objectivity?
So how has all this affected public agencies who issue municipal bonds? Let’s start by explaining how credit ratings agencies work with municipal issuers.
Corey FriedmanHow Credit Rating Agencies Affect Municipal Issuers
At Neighborly, we often hear objections to our core premise -- to invest directly in the places and civic projects you care about -- from individuals who identify as financially savvy.
We often hear "don't buy bonds, invest in a bond fund.” We hear this advice from supposedly sophisticated investors all the time. You may likely have investments in funds already, and so the thought of more of the same probably sounds just fine.
Jase4 Reasons to Invest in Bonds Directly vs. Municipal Bond Funds
If you’re a millennial (born in the 1980’s to early 2000’s), you’ve got one major advantage when it comes to investing: time. Assuming you’re not among the lucky few who get to retire in their 30s or 40s, you’ve got several decades to ride out the storm that is investing—which is why you’ve probably been told on more than one occasion that you ought to steer clear of bonds.
Sam RichardsDo Municipal Bonds Belong in Your Retirement Portfolio?
Even if you’ve never bought a municipal bond before, if you have an investment account, there’s a good chance you have some muni bonds sitting in your portfolio.
But what if you’d like to invest in a specific public project, place or sector by buying an individual muni bond directly?
neighborlyblogWhat’s the Difference Between a Muni Bond Fund and a Muni Bond?
When you vote this Fall, you’ll likely be confronted with a series of local bond measures to fund proposed infrastructure projects, like new schools, roads and bridges. Ahead of election day, you’ll probably have received campaign materials for and against these measures.
RodrigoUnderstanding Bond Measures: How to Analyze What’s on the Ballot
This November is not only when we’ll go to the polls to elect a new president and new national, state, and local officials. It’s also when we’ll get an opportunity to vote on what infrastructure will be built in our communities over the coming years – like new schools, bridges, and sewage plants.
RodrigoWhile You’re Electing a President this Fall, Vote on a Bond