The turbulent clouds that settled upon California’s bond market are beginning to dissipate, as the state’s general obligation debt was recently upgraded to ‘A’ by Standards & Poor’s. It has been almost a year since the rating agency has had a sunny outlook on the Sunshine State, but a series of improving economic data and better fiscal position have been turning things around.
Business Insider’s slideshow showcases several key factors of how the state “came back from the brink.” Since bottoming around 2009, payrolls, home prices and economic activity have been increasing in California. Silicon Valley’s tech area is booming, San Francisco’s foreclosure rate is “one of the lowest in the nation” and the state has a Democratic supermajority, which may make political gridlock a thing of the past, says the online financial news site.
Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed budget now includes an $850 million surplus, which is a “stark contrast” to previous years when the state saw “deficits in the tens of billions,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
Last summer, John Derrick, portfolio manager of U.S. Global’s Near-Term Tax Free Bond Fund (NEARX) and Tax Free Bond Fund (USUTX) said that municipalities were as resilient as they have historically been, and S&P’s recent rating release gives further credence to that opinion. We believe Cali’s improvement is positive for bond investors, as the upgrade means there will likely be greater confidence in the state’s bonds.
In a diversified portfolio, municipal bonds remain a worthy investment. For those trying to minimize taxes, muni bonds are especially attractive in a taxable account, as they are free from state and federal taxes and offer attractive yields in a low rate environment. Find out which bond fund is right for you.
Please consider carefully a fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. For this and other important information, obtain a fund prospectus by visiting www.usfunds.com or by calling 1-800-US-FUNDS (1-800-873-8637). Read it carefully before investing. Distributed by U.S. Global Brokerage, Inc.
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Tax-exempt income is federal income tax free. A portion of this income may be subject to state and local income taxes, and if applicable, may subject certain investors to the Alternative Minimum Tax as well. Each tax free fund may invest up to 20% of its assets in securities that pay taxable interest. Income or fund distributions attributable to capital gains are usually subject to both state and federal income taxes. Bond funds are subject to interest-rate risk; their value declines as interest rates rise. The tax free funds may be exposed to risks related to a concentration of investments in a particular state or geographic area. These investments present risks resulting from changes in economic conditions of the region or issuer.
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