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    Game On - Thursday, 01/19/2012

    Perhaps it was a combination of views expressed last week by the likes of PIMCO, Barron’s and The Wall Street Journal, touting the merits and benefits of the municipal bond market, but interest is clearly being expressed by buyers gobbling up investment grade bonds in spasms of transactions. Many municipal bond positions have already traded at levels of 5 -10 basis points lower in yield from opening offers, which translates to higher prices....GAME ON.

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    Rekindled Demand As We Roll Into A New Year - Wednesday, 01/11/2012

    The January effect — coupon payments and maturing bonds — are fueling muni demand despite sharp volatility in U.S. Treasuries. The technical offset to the "real" market, however, is the "roll" which occurred at the first of the year. For example, bonds that were classified as 15-year maturities on 12/30/11 were reclassified as 14-year maturities as of 1/1/12.... I expect intermediates will be the biggest beneficiary of the roll because the yield curve has been steepest in the area of the curve they occupy: 6 to 16 years. 

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    2011 Recap: Still Waiting For The Storm - Wednesday, 01/04/2012

    I strongly debate that describing the U.S. municipal bond marketplace as a "backwater," "insular" or a "shadow asset class" is inaccurate and inappropriate. As restated by the Federal Reserve, with a little push from the analysts at Citigroup, U.S. muni bonds are currently a confirmed $3.7 trillion marketplace (up from a previous valuation of $2.1 trillion in 2010), with average credit quality, among its more than 60,000 issuers, currently in the double-A range.

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Van Eck Associates Corporation does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. Investors should discuss their individual circumstances with appropriate professionals before making any decisions. This information should not be construed as sales or marketing material or an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument, product or service.

Please note that the information herein represents the opinion of Jim Colby and these opinions may change at any time and from time to time. Not intended to be a forecast of future events, a guarantee of future results or investment advice. Current market conditions may not continue. Non-Van Eck Global proprietary information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission of Van Eck Global. © 2014 Van Eck Securities Corporation. MUNI NATION is a trademark of Van Eck Associates Corporation.

All indices listed are unmanaged indices and do not reflect the payment of transaction costs, advisory fees or expenses that are associated with an investment in the Fund. An index’s performance is not illustrative of the Fund’s performance. Indices are not securities in which investments can be made.

Any discussion of specific securities mentioned in the commentary is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation to buy these securities.

Municipal bonds are subject to risks related to litigation, legislation, political change, conditions in underlying sectors or in local business communities and economies, bankruptcy or other changes in the issuer’s financial condition, and/or the discontinuance of taxes supporting the project or assets or the inability to collect revenues for the project or from the assets. Bonds and bond funds will decrease in value as interest rates rise. Additional risks include credit, interest rate, call, reinvestment, tax, market and lease obligation risk. High-yield municipal bonds are subject to greater risk of loss of income and principal than higher-rated securities, and are likely to be more sensitive to adverse economic changes or individual municipal developments than those of higher-rated securities. Municipal bonds may be less liquid than taxable bonds.

The income generated from some types of municipal bonds may be subject to state and local taxes as well as to federal taxes on capital gains and may also be subject to alternative minimum tax.

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