Portfolio Management articles

A batter at the plate

Jim Reber: Squeeze play

Jim Reber: Squeeze play

The Fed’s market interventions have a goal of shrinking spreads. By Jim Reber, ICBA Securities The Federal Reserve has been busy lately. The past 90 days have seen a rerun of sorts from what played out a decade ago, at the start of what is now known as the Great Recession. Several elements of its […]

painting a stool

Jim Reber: Reconstruct, don’t deconstruct

Record-low yields create an opportunity to strategize on the fly. By Jim Reber, ICBA Securities Have you ever purchased a bond when the 10-year Treasury note yielded sub-1%? If you have, it was after March 4 of this year. In fact, you couldn’t have purchased a bond when the 10-year was under 1.10% until March […]

Notepad pen glasses and a cup of coffee on a table

Jim Reber: To the corner office

The bond portfolio fires back a reply to the community bank president. Read last month’s column. By Jim Reber, ICBA Securities Dear Community Bank President, Thank you for your kind letter this past month. It has been a crazy four weeks, which has delayed my response, so I appreciate your understanding. In fact, one of […]


Jim Reber: Dear bond portfolio…

A community bank CEO addresses the bond portfolio. By Jim Reber, ICBA Securities Dear Security Inventory, Since we’ve finally gotten 2019 closed, the auditors are out of here (yay!) and the shareholders meeting is behind us, I thought it was time to catch up with you. I realize senior management has given you scant attention […]

stocks and bonds and stock market stat sheet

Jim Reber: Munis for all

No need for tax-free bonds? Check out the value in taxable munis. By Jim Reber, ICBA Securities So, you say your community bank doesn’t own any municipal bonds? And you don’t need to read a column about an investment sector that has no relevance to your investment strategy? Because your bank is an S-Corp and […]

Jim Reber: Hiding in plain sight

Here’s what you may have missed in recent yield curve shifts. By Jim Reber, ICBA Securities Tell me if you’ve heard this before: the yield curve was inverted for much of 2019. This is kind of like stating that Harry Truman defeated Thomas Dewey for president in 1948. You’d be correct, but just barely, which […]

Jim Reber: Echoes of holidays past

Year-end is a good time to reflect on past investment performance. By Jim Reber, ICBA Securities The investment portfolio, as a component of a community bank’s overall franchise, is in some respects like your cousin’s husband—Mike, in my case. You know he’ll always be around for important events, doesn’t make much of a fuss and, […]

Jim Reber: Marked improvement

Falling rates mean higher bond prices. Be careful with that. By Jim Reber, ICBA Securities As this year has progressed and the mindset of fixed-income buyers nationally and globally has changed direction and picked up momentum, the reckoning in some cases seems flatly erroneous. Here are a few tidbits: Austria’s 100-year bond, issued in 2017 […]