Opportunity Zones: An Overlooked Impetus for Municipal Credit Enhancement

Putting fixed income assets to work in a world of 2% 10Yr Treasuries is challenging. Appleton Partners understands this and feels there is still value and opportunity. Nathan Harris, CFA, Co-Director of Municipal Research, sees considerable credit catalyst potential from Opportunity Zone investment.

Review and

January 2020

“The differential between 2 and 10-year AAA municipals increased meaningfully as Q4 closed, moving from 20 to 40 basis points over the quarter.  We continue to see value in the 6 to 12-year maturity range…”

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December 2019

“At times we are asked how Appleton’s credit research team covers tax-exempt markets comprised of more than 50,000 bond issuers and more than 1 million total bonds outstanding. The answer lies in the alignment of our research efforts with the nature of our investment process…”

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November 2019

“A steeper muni yield curve is welcome as it now offers a bit more value for adding duration…”

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October 2019

“For those looking to put cash to work on a temporary basis, or simply wishing to maintain liquid, high quality assets, ultra-short accounts with an ability to tactically allocate between VRDNs and short munis as relative value changes may have appeal…”

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Economic and
Market Commentary


Differentiating Credit Vigilance From Complacency

“All too often favorable capital market conditions have generated a degree of investor and analyst complacency.  With municipal credit spreads at near record lows, the margin for safety has been diminished…”

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Opportunity Zones: A Look at Potentially Winning Models

“Opportunity Zones are fast becoming a real estate development buzzword, as powerful tax incentives unleashed by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act sparks a proliferation of private capital investment into economically stressed census tracts…”

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Opportunity Zones:
An Impetus for Municipal Credit Enhancement

“As capital flows into Opportunity Zones, we are actively looking for localities with the best prospects … Weeding through Opportunity Zone tracts early in their evolution offers our research team an ability to identify municipal issuers with overlooked future credit prospects…”

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Beyond Ladders:
Attributes of Active Management

“In the tax-exempt markets, the debate is often seen through the lens of active vs. laddered bond strategies, particularly with separately managed accounts.  While there are merits to both approaches, and they appeal to different investor needs, we believe active management has certain inherent advantages…”

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Q4 2019

Forecasting in an Uncertain World

“As we close the door on the 2010s and enter the 2020s, thinking about the risks we know, don’t know, and don’t know we don’t know can help frame market expectations…”

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Q3 2019

Demystifying and Demilitarizing Trade

“In a recent speech concerning risks to the US economy, noted economist Robert Shiller discussed the term “trade war” and how its meaning has evolved over time…”

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Q2 2019

Summer Days: Bright Skies and Hazy Outlooks

“The first six months of the year were, for all the volatility, a period of capital markets strength. It’s far too early to say what the next six will bring, but at a minimum, we see reasons to expect volatility to continue and emphasize the value of sticking to a clear-eyed plan…”

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Q1 2019

Sympathy for the Yield Curve

“The US economy is showing vulnerability to geopolitical risk, but – as Mick Jagger once sang in ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ – “as heads is tails,” a bear reading and a bull reading of the economy may explain the seeming contradiction of the first quarter…”

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Video Briefs

July 2019

Benefits of a Municipal Crossover Strategy

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June 2019

Opportunity Zones: An Impetus for Municipal Credit Enhancement

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March 2019

Portfolio Transition Analysis: Facilitating Informed Decisions

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March 2019

Beyond Ladders: Attributes of Active Management

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