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Old 10-07-2020, 08:56 PM   #161
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How reliable are the market prices?
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Old 10-08-2020, 07:49 AM   #162
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How reliable are the market prices?
No way to know. No idea what mark to market formula they use or when updated. I suspect it is dated to some degree but better than some fund companies who provide nothing and at least at a miminum you can see what the bonds are.

If one needed to know more I susepct individual bond holding may be better like NJhowie does.
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Old 10-08-2020, 10:49 AM   #163
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How reliable are the market prices?
I trade through Schwab, which has an explainer on its trade window that you can click on. Basically it says it computes values by looking at trades of similar bonds. It also says their values don't necessarily reflect the price you might get if you sold a bond.

In its trade window, Schwab offers a "fill or kill" order with their computed value or a "market price." I generally go with Schwab's value. I think their pricing is fairly conservative, as I have had trades fail to go through at their price.
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Muni Bond (and Muni Bond Fund) Discussion
Old 10-08-2020, 03:13 PM   #164
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Muni Bond (and Muni Bond Fund) Discussion

Individual bond pricing is more of a swag in my opinion. We mostly donít care how accurate the daily pricing is since most of us plan on holding to maturity. I never wouldíve thought to bid below the ask for a bond but I learned to dicker from NJHowie and everytime I bid between the last sale price and the current ask my bid has been accepted. The offers are usually tiny amounts that I donít think a bond fund would even bother with.
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Old 10-08-2020, 07:23 PM   #165
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Individual bond pricing is more of a swag in my opinion. We mostly donít care how accurate the daily pricing is since most of us plan on holding to maturity. I never wouldíve thought to bid below the ask for a bond but I learned to dicker from NJHowie and everytime I bid between the last sale price and the current ask my bid has been accepted. The offers are usually tiny amounts that I donít think a bond fund would even bother with.
I get that, makes sense. I kind of view my muni fund similarly in that I never really plan to sell it. If it all totally hits the fan and I have to sell when down, oh well, the world is probably ending anyways and I won't have much time to care. It goes up, it goes down, I count on them to manage the portfolio to keep returns the way we expect. Last year I got a nice capital gain distribution out of it I never had in years past. They were obviously selling stuff out of the portfolio to juice returns. I'll rely on their team.

Maybe one day when I am not working I will put more time into individual issues but I think my laziness will win out and probably not.
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Old 10-08-2020, 07:40 PM   #166
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I get that, makes sense. I kind of view my muni fund similarly in that I never really plan to sell it. If it all totally hits the fan and I have to sell when down, oh well, the world is probably ending anyways and I won't have much time to care. It goes up, it goes down, I count on them to manage the portfolio to keep returns the way we expect. Last year I got a nice capital gain distribution out of it I never had in years past. They were obviously selling stuff out of the portfolio to juice returns. I'll rely on their team.

Maybe one day when I am not working I will put more time into individual issues but I think my laziness will win out and probably not.
So what is your bond fund ticker? Mine is SMDMX and I'm only using it as a supplement MM fund and will just draw the 2.X dividend. The last two years they did not distribute a capital gain and I never figured out why. The max allocation might be 3%. Under worst case scenario I might need to sell due to emergency but I wouldn't worry about taking a loss.
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Old 10-09-2020, 07:47 AM   #167
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So what is your bond fund ticker? Mine is SMDMX and I'm only using it as a supplement MM fund and will just draw the 2.X dividend. The last two years they did not distribute a capital gain and I never figured out why. The max allocation might be 3%. Under worst case scenario I might need to sell due to emergency but I wouldn't worry about taking a loss.
VWAHX, they call it a high yield, but it is not in the traditional sense of muni funds. It's somehwere in between. Read their philosophy closely, it is a volatile one when things are moving around as say compared to a VWIUX but with long term focus pays 1.5 to 2% more so I am OK with that. Covid muni environment makes faith even more improtant. The distributions have been rock solid regardless of price and following for a while now, $11 seems like a great price, at least in late 10 years, $11.50 decent, above that have a longer term focus. At current $11.66 yield is still 3.1%.

Others may disagree, this being the internet and all.
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Old 10-09-2020, 06:59 PM   #168
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Having lots of difficulty gettng anything past couple weeks. Though I was able to get one just at the close today - past call date, can call with 30 days notice, my YTC will be negative 0.4% if they announce call tomorrow and breakeven will be 2 days after that. Beyond that, I'll be collecting 5.4% with maturity 8/1/2024. I paid 100.352 (+0.1 markup).

https://emma.msrb.org/Security/Details/04144RBK4
Called for Nov 9:
https://emma.msrb.org/P11424736-P11105984-P11515502.pdf

So I'll have received 2.27% APY for 2 months.
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Old 10-09-2020, 08:00 PM   #169
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I bought a GO bond for an Ohio school district this week. Matures in 2037, 4% coupon, Aa2 rated, 1.35% YTW if called 12/1/23.

Pickings are pretty slim, but I think yields rose just a bit during the week. I'm not thrilled with chasing after 1.3% yield, but it's better than the money market.

I've got a number of longer-term bond holdings that are maturing next year. I'm not looking forward to that
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Old 10-10-2020, 01:58 AM   #170
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I bought a GO bond for an Ohio school district this week. Matures in 2037, 4% coupon, Aa2 rated, 1.35% YTW if called 12/1/23.
Very good by what I see day to day.

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Pickings are pretty slim, but I think yields rose just a bit during the week. I'm not thrilled with chasing after 1.3% yield, but it's better than the money market.
Agreed.

In the taxable segment, I'm still seeing yield to worst being quite negative with most everything which has decent yield to maturity. I'm not biting on these. The few which pop up with positive yield to worst and good yield to maturity are lower quality. I'm submitting bids all day long and not getting anything. I won't relent - won't be lulled into taking potential garbage.

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I've got a number of longer-term bond holdings that are maturing next year. I'm not looking forward to that
I know the feeling. However, one positive that I am seeing with my (still) longer-term holdings, even the ones which have higher potential risk at this time are being called. Before the virus, I had done well with car rental facilities at airports. It seems that it became en vogue to build and finance these with municipal bonds - the revenue backing them are the local facility charges you see on your bill when you rent a car. Well, as one was being called for Nashville, I swapped in to another for Austin, TX...obviously at just the wrong moment. One of the issues I have is a 3 3/8% coupon November 2022 maturity and also just yesterday it's been called for 6 weeks from now. I purchased this one below par at 98.74 so my yield to call comes to 6.04% for 7 months - I'll gladly have it called to be rid of it.

One good thing I saw for the above bonds and those like them for car rental facilities at airports, however. Though things are still pretty bad with the economy and travel - I was able to see the current situation first hand. I had to make an emergency trip to Miami this past week...making the flight/car rental reservation Sunday AM and being on the plane 8 hours later. Auto rentals are certainly picking up. When we arrived at about 7PM on Sunday, there were no cars available from the company we rented from (Budget - which is also Avis) - needed to have a reservation to get a car. When we dropped off the car around noon yesterday, it was fairly crowded at the rental center for those picking up cars. So, however slowly it may be happening, travel is returning. Reports for the airports we set foot in...Miami - so-so - not empty, but not bustling, both arriving/departing. Newark departing/arriving - completely dead - ghost town. Washington Dulles connection yesterday late afternoon - jam packed - you wouldn't know that there was anything different than before the virus...other than everyone wearing masks.
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Old 10-10-2020, 06:35 AM   #171
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I've often bought airport bonds when they come up, and DC is a favorite location. IIRC I had one or two for the whole DC airport system, including Dulles and National. Having them gave me a warm feeling, because you know people need to travel to DC. With plenty of cash flow, they always seem to get called on schedule.

Of course, there are airports and there are airports. I've got one from the Lee County, Fla. (Fort Myers) airport that has a call date coming up next year. I suspect you could shoot a cannon down the concourse down there and not hit anyone these days.

I have one from Orlando as well. I figured, people need to see the Mouse. Right now, not so much. But the bond is still holding onto its Aa rating. We'll see where that goes. I suspect the cash flow is safe. I wonder if the Lee County one will be called on schedule, or if management will husband its reserves like the AK folks.

I've noticed an O'Hare bond on the market, and have been tempted to jump. I bought a 4% coupon O'Hare bond below par in 2016 when people's hair was on fire over Chicago's debt. Maybe it's time to take another bite of that apple.
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Old 10-10-2020, 07:10 AM   #172
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I've often bought airport bonds when they come up, and DC is a favorite location. IIRC I had one or two for the whole DC airport system, including Dulles and National. Having them gave me a warm feeling, because you know people need to travel to DC. With plenty of cash flow, they always seem to get called on schedule.

Of course, there are airports and there are airports. I've got one from the Lee County, Fla. (Fort Myers) airport that has a call date coming up next year. I suspect you could shoot a cannon down the concourse down there and not hit anyone these days.

I have one from Orlando as well. I figured, people need to see the Mouse. Right now, not so much. But the bond is still holding onto its Aa rating. We'll see where that goes. I suspect the cash flow is safe. I wonder if the Lee County one will be called on schedule, or if management will husband its reserves like the AK folks.

I've noticed an O'Hare bond on the market, and have been tempted to jump. I bought a 4% coupon O'Hare bond below par in 2016 when people's hair was on fire over Chicago's debt. Maybe it's time to take another bite of that apple.
I've also nibbled on the Lee County bonds the past couple months. When I investigated, financially they were quite strong and there are operations at the airport besides just the commercial flights.

I think I mentioned earlier, that I have been picking up the San Jose, CA airport bonds as they've appeared when priced nicely - the insured ones, as there are also uninsureds of the same maturity. They are also financially very strong having two years worth of cash on hand based on their current burn rate. They are high coupon at 6.6%, so will likely be called when able in March.

I believe O'Hare bonds are also good. I had some, but sold them when I caught a good bid.
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Old 10-16-2020, 02:19 PM   #173
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@jazz - 2021 is a fare increase year for NYC MTA - they have built in 4% fare increases every odd year. However, with the tremendous deficit they are running, rumors are fares could go from current $2.75 to $3.50 or even $3.75. This is on top of all the other cutbacks in headcount, service and system improvements.

Bottom line, they should make good on the bonds and will likely look to call them as quickly as they can put together a deal to refinance at lower rates, depending what the market will bear at the time they do it. The rates on all the issues is quite high relative to current rates. They may look to take on even more debt if they can get away with it to get through the current downturn.
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Old 10-16-2020, 02:38 PM   #174
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@jazz - 2021 is a fare increase year for NYC MTA - they have built in 4% fare increases every odd year. However, with the tremendous deficit they are running, rumors are fares could go from current $2.75 to $3.50 or even $3.75. This is on top of all the other cutbacks in headcount, service and system improvements.

Bottom line, they should make good on the bonds and will likely look to call them as quickly as they can put together a deal to refinance at lower rates, depending what the market will bear at the time they do it. The rates on all the issues is quite high relative to current rates. They may look to take on even more debt if they can get away with it to get through the current downturn.
Good news there. I think they will find a way to refi. NYC people need mass transit.
I bought a Boston mass transit bond today (actually a parking revenue bond). About 1% yield if called on schedule 7/01/21. Coupon is 5.25% if it's not called, which I don't anticipate. But I can dream! CUSIP is 59180CAT8
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Old 10-16-2020, 04:07 PM   #175
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My NYT bonds mature in 2021 and 2025. They are being shown as not callable/call protected but I assume some sort of extraordinary redemption is possible. I expect they will figure some way out of the operating losses problem without excessive damage to bondholders. The only thing that makes me a bit nervous is the volume of bonds listed....it looks like a fire sale except the prices remain pretty good. I am totally comfortable esp with the call next year and the tiny principle at stake. I tend to put chunks that approximate 1-3 years of discretionary expenses into a security as a means to reduce risk. I would go out longer if a great value presented itself but the stake at NYT feels fully invested for me right now. Airport specific bonds [I]especially[I] MWAA that manages Reagan National and Dulles would be of great interest to me. I missed a great opportunity to add an MWAA bond to my portfolio back when I was taking baby steps
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