NISA Perspectives

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Perspectives

May 4, 2021

A Different Perspective: A Humble Derivatives Lawyer’s

To download a PDF version, please click here. Uncleared Swaps Public Service Announcement PSA: If…

April 14, 2021

Phantom Jobless Claims Mask the Labor Market Recovery

To download a PDF version, please click here. We’ve written ad nauseum in these pages…

March 30, 2021

The Strategic Case for High Yield in Hibernation and LDI Portfolios

To download a PDF version, please click here. NISA has consistently argued that risk assets…

March 9, 2021

Tantrum Without the Taper: FAQ on Recent Market Volatility

To download a PDF version, please click here. The recent volatility in bond markets has…

March 1, 2021

What a Difference An Hour Can Make

To download a PDF version, please click here. Earlier this year, a change occurred with…

February 19, 2021

Another Extension of Funding Relief?

To download a PDF version, please click here. A few clients have asked us recently…

February 11, 2021

Longevity Assumptions – Don’t Let Them Kill You

To download a PDF version, please click here. Around the office, we have found longevity…

November 19, 2020

A Conversation About The October Payrolls Report

To download a PDF version, please click here. Overheard on the NISA trading floor, Friday,…

October 29, 2020

Making Up Is Hard To Do: The Fed Adopts An Average Inflation Target Part II

To download a PDF version, please click here. In a post earlier this week, we…

October 27, 2020

Making Up Is Hard To Do: The Fed Adopts An Average Inflation Target

To download a PDF version, please click here. In a landmark speech at the Jackson…

October 20, 2020

Initial Jobless Claims Only Tell Half The Story, And It’s Not The Good Half

To download a PDF version, please click here. Regular readers will know we’ve been on…

October 8, 2020

Service Required: The Unique Structural Impact of the 2020 Recession

To download a PDF version, please click here. The pandemic caused a recession unlike any…

October 5, 2020

A Very Normal World…of Interest Rates

To download a PDF version, please click here. Very little currently could be described as…

August 28, 2020

Progress

To download a PDF version, please click here. As we have been saying, the seasonal…

August 19, 2020

Willing to Concede the S&P at 3750+? Equity Protection Strategies, Enter Stage Left

To download a PDF version, please click here. The combination of near all-time highs for…

July 30, 2020

Seasonally Maladjusted: How Statistical Methods Have Destroyed 3.7 Million Jobs Since March

To download a PDF version, please click here. In this short note we demonstrate, primarily…

July 16, 2020

The Siren Song of Manager Diversification

To download a PDF version, please click here. Recent market gyrations once again remind us…

July 9, 2020

Labor Market Update: Objects in Mirror are Better than They Appear

To download a PDF version, please click here. The labor market continued its spectacular recovery…

July 2, 2020

The Dynamic Duo: Interest Rate Levels and Volatility

To download a PDF version, please click here. When volatility increases for a particular market…

June 15, 2020

A 10 Million Job Surprise

To download a PDF version, please click here. The May jobs report produced the biggest…

May 20, 2020

The Fed’s Crisis Playbook: Speak Softly and Carry an Unlimited Balance Sheet

To download a PDF version, please click here. COVID-19 has delivered an economic shock of…

May 14, 2020

What a Difference a Decade Makes!

To download a PDF version, please click here. While the COVID-19 crisis is certainly new…

April 24, 2020

A Recession Unlike Any Other

To download a PDF version, please click here. The longest expansion in U.S. economic history…

April 7, 2020

Are Static Hedge Ratios Really Static?

To download a PDF version, please click here. Authors’ note: The timing of this piece…

March 24, 2020

Quick Post on Rebalancing

To download a PDF version, please click here. I know this is not the time…

March 12, 2020

Treasury Yields: How Low Can They Go?

To download a PDF version, please click here. This has been a frequent question from…

March 6, 2020

Coronavirus Fear Shocks Global Markets

To download a PDF version, please click here. Coronavirus has sent shockwaves throughout global financial…

December 18, 2019

Ignore Mortality at Your Own Risk

To download a PDF version, please click here. For the fifth year in a row,…

November 18, 2019

State of the US Consumer in Four Charts

To download a PDF version, please click here. With no shortage of economic uncertainty in…

October 9, 2019

FAQ: What Happened in the Repo Market Last Month?

To download a PDF version, please click here. A volatile September in the normally placid…

September 4, 2019

Monetary Policy in the U.S. is Being Determined by European (Japanese) Financial Markets

To download a PDF version, please click here. As we approach the next Fed meeting…

August 21, 2019

Global Bond Yields Plunge to Record Lows

To download a PDF version, please click here. Bond yields have fallen dramatically around the…

July 10, 2019

The Waiting is the Hardest Part: An Update on the LIBOR Transition

To download a PDF version, please click here. The LIBOR transition continues. As we have…

April 15, 2019

Two Alternatives in the End-state

To download a PDF version, please click here.Many plan sponsors find themselves in the fortunate…

January 22, 2019

Investing in Alternatives: What’s Trending

To download a PDF version, please click here. While we have seen shifts from active…

January 3, 2019

Market Bids Farewell to the Fed’s Tightening Cycle

To download a PDF version, please click here. The last seven weeks have seen a…

December 21, 2018

Groundhog Day Meets Mortality Assumptions

To download a PDF version, please click here. Perhaps it would have been more fitting…

November 14, 2018

SOFR, So Good

To download a PDF version, please click here. The LIBOR transition continues. A global effort…

October 24, 2018

Implementing Your Beta

To download a PDF version, please click here. When envisioning any new strategy, it is…

October 16, 2018

China, the Goliath of the Treasury Market

To download a PDF version, please click here. After the latest round of the trade…

September 27, 2018

Small Balances, Big Bias?

To download a PDF version, please click here. Small balance annuity buyouts have been increasingly…

September 25, 2018

Rebuilding Beta

To download a PDF version, please click here. In our previous post, we outlined a…

September 7, 2018

Breaking Down Your Beta

To download a PDF version, please click here. Like visiting the doctor periodically, it is…

July 26, 2018

Separating Annuity Buyout Fact From Fiction

To download a PDF version, please click here. In recent weeks we have read a…

June 19, 2018

Fed’s Technical Adjustment to IOER is a Sign of Things to Come

To download a PDF version, please click here. It was a surprise to no one…

December 29, 2017

A Small Lump of Coal in the Discount Curve

To download a PDF version, please click here. ‘Tis the season for both giving and…

December 18, 2017

Sharing an Interesting Analysis

To download a PDF version, please click here. Sometimes you come across a piece of…

December 11, 2017

Anticipating the FIFO Rule

To download a PDF version, please click here. As the effort to reform the U.S….

December 5, 2017

The Phillips Curve is Dead, Long Live the Phillips Curve!

To download a PDF version, please click here. The Phillips Curve describes the relationship between…

November 2, 2017

Fed Takes First Step of $2 Trillion Journey

To download a PDF version, please click here. The Federal Reserve took the first step…

July 28, 2017

The Beginning of the End for LIBOR

To download a PDF version, please click here. The end is nigh for the London…

May 25, 2017

Does the Size of a Company’s Pension Affect its Stock Price?

To download a PDF version, please click here. Summary We examined the statistics behind the…

May 19, 2017

Go Long!

To download a PDF version, please click here. The Treasury Department is considering issuing an…

March 10, 2017

Taking A Hike

To download a PDF version, please click here. It is a well-known market truism that…

January 5, 2017

Trumponomics – Two Scenarios for Fiscal Stimulus

To download a PDF version, please click here. Changes in yields can provide insights into…

December 7, 2016

Equity Spread Duration is Bubbling Up

To download a PDF version, please click here. Summary In recent months we’ve observed that…

December 5, 2016

A Strategy That Pays Dividends – Dividend Tilts in Taxable Insurance Portfolios

Taxable insurance portfolios can enhance returns by employing the tax code’s preference for dividends. By…

December 2, 2016

Make Funded Status Great Again (Again)

To download a PDF version, please click here. The ongoing equity rally and the rise…

November 11, 2016

Make Funded Status Great Again

To download a PDF version, please click here. It has been an interesting week. Regardless…

October 20, 2016

The Topography of Pension Risk

To download a PDF version, please click here. Last week, we participated in the annual…

July 26, 2016

Grading Rates on a Curve

To download a PDF version, please click here. Can rates in the U.S. only go…

June 29, 2016

Have Cash – Will Carry: Another Simple Strategy to Help Enhance Cash Yields

To download a PDF version, please click here. As the (seemingly) never-ending search for yield…

June 8, 2016

There’s Beta in My Alpha! (Part 2)

To download a PDF version, please click here. I received some feedback asking whether the…

May 20, 2016

There’s Beta in My Alpha!

To download a PDF version, please click here. When I was a kid, being called…

May 11, 2016

Bonds Without Borders

To download a PDF version, please click here. It may pay to be a little…

April 22, 2016

Prix Fixe vs. A la Carte (or, Asset Classes vs. Risk Premia)?

To download a PDF version, please click here. When you go to a restaurant for…

April 5, 2016

Long Corporates and Low Treasuries

To download a PDF version, please click here. We talk with a lot of pension…

March 29, 2016

Risk Premia Strategies – Beta Overlay 2.0?

To download a PDF version, please click here. The advent of investable risk premia indices…

March 9, 2016

NISA’s Target Date Glidepath – Designed for Retirement Security

The retirement landscape is shifting, as the workforce grows older and increasingly relies on its…

February 8, 2016

Rebalancing? Don’t Forget Derivatives

To download a PDF version, please click here. January’s steep drop in equity prices and…

February 2, 2016

Spending in Retirement: It’s Complicated

To download a PDF version, please click here. You may have missed that the Employee…

January 11, 2016

Here’s an Idea to Potentially Enhance Your Cash Returns

To download a PDF version, please click here. Returns will be hard to come by…

January 4, 2016

The Great Migration Toward Fixed Income

To download a PDF version, please click here. Since the New Year is always a…

December 22, 2015

Brazil Downgraded to Junk—But It’s Not High Yield!

To download a PDF version, please click here. Brazil’s sovereign debt was recently downgraded below…

December 17, 2015

Live (Less) Long and Prosper?

To download a PDF version, please click here. Working in the pension industry, it can…

December 10, 2015

Fed Liftoff: More Questions than Answers

To download a PDF version, please click here. Markets are currently implying nearly an 80%…

December 3, 2015

Our Take on Negative Swap Spreads

To download a PDF version, please click here. While the topic may not have come…

December 3, 2015

The Full Picture on Partial Buyouts

To download a PDF version, please click here. We hear annuity buyouts frequently discussed as…

November 9, 2015

The Full Picture on Partial Buyouts

Plan sponsors may be disappointed if they expect to eliminate most of their pension risk…

May 7, 2015

Regulators Pave the Road to Retirement Income

We’ve witnessed a flurry of new guidance and regulations from both the Department of Treasury…

March 6, 2015

Credit Where It’s Due

When de-risking with liability driven investing, pension plans must decide on the right blend of…

December 10, 2014

Pension Buyout Reality Check

Recent annuity purchases highlight the need to examine what drives their pricing. Plan sponsor announcements…

December 3, 2014

The Beauty of the Bundle

DC participants want the most for their money when choosing a retirement income strategy. While…

September 19, 2014

Long Live Longevity Annuities

DC plans can now offer deferred “longevity” annuities that provide income in the later years…

July 31, 2014

The Long View on Short Rates

Since the 2008 financial crisis, the market has suggested a rapid rise in short-term rates…

May 16, 2014

Refocusing on Retirement Income Risk

Fixed income allocations in defined contribution plans, while perceived as low risk, may actually expose…

May 8, 2014

Spreading Confusion

We have observed (with some bemusement) how the financial media often compares the yields on…

February 18, 2014

Cash on the Barrelhead

LDI hibernation strategies may present an opportunity to de-risk at a lower expected cost and…

August 12, 2013

At the Crossroads

Many pension plan sponsors and fiduciaries are confronting perhaps the most important decision in the…

April 30, 2013

Putting Longevity Risk in its Place

Pension plans run the risk that actual beneficiary lifespans can exceed those assumed in their…

March 20, 2013

Contribution Relief with a Catch

At first blush, MAP-21 would appear to make pension plan contributions less likely in the…

January 30, 2013

Defining the Pension De-Risking Spectrum

Pension de-risking need not be an all-or-nothing decision. In fact, plan fiduciaries may be surprised…

January 6, 2013

The Credit Rating Impact of Pension De-Risking

By simply de-risking their pension plan, companies can realize most of the benefits of annuity…

November 27, 2012

Efficient Tax Management in Taxable VEBA Portfolios

Reducing tax consequences in equity portfolios offers tangible benefits in the current tax environment. Three…

October 11, 2012

Funding Relief and Implications for Pension Investing

The recently-passed Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (“MAP-21”) provides temporary funding…

September 26, 2012

PSRX Overview

NISA’s proprietary Pension Surplus Risk Index (PSRX®) and supplemental data offer plan fiduciaries a means…

September 26, 2012

PSRX Guide

August 15, 2012

Corporate Bond Scarcity? The Case for Separating Interest Rate and Spread Risks

U.S. pension plan demand for long duration corporate bonds has been and is expected to…

October 5, 2011

Prospective Funded Status Volatility

Negative performance of risk assets, coupled with lower interest rates, has had the obvious effect…

August 2, 2011

Break-even Yield Curve

Like any market, timing interest rates is challenging. This brief addresses one key, and often…

July 31, 2011

Dynamic Liability Driven Investing

Pension plans have used Liability Driven Investment (LDI) strategies for years. In this brief we…

May 27, 2009

Interest Rate Hedges

Interest rate markets have experienced pronounced volatility in recent years. Many pension liability hedge strategies…

December 18, 2008

Considerations Surrounding Corporate Bonds in Pensions

Widening credit spreads increases focus on the suitability and attractiveness of corporate bonds as pension…

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