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The Dopkins Wealth Team

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Comparing Equity and Fixed Income Trade Settlements

Posted by The Dopkins Wealth Team

Apr 1, 2016 6:00:00 AM

Many investors have not thought much about how stock, mutual fund and bond transactions actually settle. In most situations, the securities move in or out of a client’s account electronically. Most securities settle in one to three days after the trade date (commonly referred to as T+1 or T+3). Settlement simply means the securities are delivered in or out of the account on the established date.

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Topics: fixed income, trade settlements, shadow post



New Money Market Fund Rules: What They Are and What We Think

Posted by The Dopkins Wealth Team

Mar 24, 2016 3:31:38 PM


In 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released new money market fund rules. Effective by October 2016, the biggest changes pertain to their liquidity and who can hold certain funds.

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Topics: money market funds, retail money markets, institutional money markets, net asset values, money market fund rules, NAV



An Individual Bond Ladder Versus a Bond Fund

Posted by The Dopkins Wealth Team

Mar 15, 2016 8:00:00 PM

Many investors are worried about how rising interest rates will affect their fixed income portfolio. Many believe an individual bond ladder better protects them against rising rates because they can see each bond mature. This is a common misnomer. An environment of rising rates will have a similar effect on the value of an individual bond ladder as it will with a bond fund of similar duration and credit quality. Interest rate risk is measured by duration, which measures the sensitivity of a bond’s price to a change in interest rates. For example, a portfolio with a four-year duration will lose 4 percent of its value if interest rates increase by 1 percent (or vice versa).

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Topics: fixed income, bonds; fixed income, bond fund, bond ladder, individual bond ladder



How Dopkins Wealth's fixed income offering is different

Posted by The Dopkins Wealth Team

Jan 26, 2016 8:00:00 PM

Dopkins Wealth Management is a member of the BAM Alliance, a community of more than 140 independent wealth management firms located throughout the United States — united in belief and in practice that there is a better, more effective, and more resilient way for investors and their families to safeguard their financial futures and realize their dreams.  Our clients benefit in many ways through this alliance, including many fixed income advantages. The following outlines some of these benefits to fixed income investors.  

Dopkins, through the BAM Alliance, works with BAM’s Fixed Income department, a team of dedicated fixed income advisors who help provide customized investment solutions for Dopkins’ clients. BAM’s Fixed Income Desk evaluates new assets and portfolios, constructs bond ladders and monitors bond positions for credit quality changes. The desk manages more than $8 billion in bonds and bond funds and trades $2 billion in market value a year. We want to share some key differentiators between Dopkins and BAM’s Fixed Income offering compared with the traditional broker-dealer model.

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Topics: fixed income, bonds, municipal bonds, registered investment advisor, ria, investment advisors act



The Federal Reserve and Rising Rates

Posted by The Dopkins Wealth Team

Dec 14, 2015 11:48:00 AM

With the recent spate of positive economic news, highlighted by the strong jobs numbers for both October and November, all signs point toward the Federal Reserve raising the federal funds target rate 25 basis points from 0–0.25 percent to 0.25–0.50 percent. Based on federal funds futures, the market is assigning a roughly 76 percent probability of a federal funds increase. Given that this would be the first interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve since 2006, many clients are beginning to ask, “Should we stay short and wait for the Fed to raise interest rates before investing?” 

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Topics: wealth management, fixed income, Federal Open Market Committee, Federal Open Market Committee, (FOMC), the fed, treasury bond, fixed income ladder



What are agency bonds?

Posted by The Dopkins Wealth Team

Dec 3, 2015 4:30:00 PM

Agency bonds are securities issued by two types of entities: 1) government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), which usually are federally chartered but privately owned corporations; and 2) federal government agencies which issue  bonds to finance activities related to public purposes, such as increasing home ownership or providing agricultural assistance. 

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Topics: securities, agency bonds



5 Ways We Evaluate Muni Bonds

Posted by The Dopkins Wealth Team

Nov 19, 2015 3:51:06 PM

While there have been few defaults in the municipal market, it’s important to note that not all muni bonds are created equal. The market offers many different types of bonds backed by varying legal pledges and revenue sources to repay the debt. The following are some of the qualifications it takes for a muni offering to meet our strict parameters to be considered for purchase.

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Topics: fixed income, bonds, muni bonds, municpal bonds



Stock Market Volatility a Good Thing for Investors?

Posted by The Dopkins Wealth Team

Aug 27, 2015 11:42:11 AM

In light of recent stock market volatility, we wanted to share the thoughts of Jared Kizer, the BAM ALLIANCE's Chief Investment Officer. As Jared points out, many times market volatility can be a good thing and sticking to a well thought out investment plan is the best way to achieve financial success. 

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Topics: dwm



Federal Reserve System Refresher

Posted by The Dopkins Wealth Team

Aug 25, 2015 1:49:39 PM

We are all familiar with the Fed (not to be confused with Roger Federer), but do you really know what it is, what it does, and how it functions?

Q: What is Federal Reserve System

A: The Federal Reserve is the central bank for the United States. It is composed of 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks located around the country as well as the Board of Governors, the independent government agency, in Washington D.C. A 12 member board is selected from these entities to create the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). The Federal Reserve controls the country’s monetary policy with the dual mandate of stable prices and full employment with the goal of sustainable economic growth. Monetary policy is concerned with the amount of money and credit in the economy. The Federal Reserve is also in charge of regulating banks and other economically important institutions to protect depositors and ensure the safety of the financial system.

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Topics: dwm



Changes in Bond Yields: How Is Your Portfolio Affected?

Posted by The Dopkins Wealth Team

Jul 9, 2015 2:19:55 PM

The recent increase in bond yields and the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will begin raising its target rate later this year have elevated investor concerns. Many investors are wondering if this is the beginning of a continued increase in yields and, if so, how it will affect their bond portfolios. From the end of January, the benchmark 10-year Treasury rate increased from a low of 1.64 percent to 2.37 percent in mid-June. While this rate is still low from a historical perspective, it is a fairly large increase for a short time frame.

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Topics: interest rates, yield curve, Federal Open Market Committee, bond yields, bond returns, (FOMC)





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