Personal Finance Advice and Commentary

Monday, September 01, 2014 8:00 am
By Dr. Don Taylor · Bankrate.com

Municipal bonds are debt securities issued by state and local governments to finance capital investment and other obligations.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013 10:25 am
By Sheyna Steiner · Bankrate.com

Massachusetts just wrapped up a sale of general obligation bonds labeled as green bonds, and investors ate it up.

Friday, November 11, 2011 10:09 am
By Sheyna Steiner · Bankrate.com

On Tuesday, Jefferson County, Alabama filed for bankruptcy, earning the dubious distinction of being the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. The county was in debt to bondholders for more than $3 billion for a sewer system project, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday in the story, “Biggest muni bankruptcy ever puts investors on high alert.”

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 1:02 pm
By Sheyna Steiner · Bankrate.com

President Obama sent his jobs bill to Congress this week. Among the spending cuts and tax increases is a provision to cap the amount of tax-exempt interest a high income investor can earn from municipal bonds. Interest from municipal bonds is generally free from federal income tax, as well as state and local taxes in

Thursday, July 07, 2011 2:41 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

Taxes can really punish anyone whose retirement planning includes saving a significant amount of money in tax-advantaged and taxable retirement savings accounts. If you’re not careful, Uncle Sam will take an unnecessarily big bite out of your nest egg. Here’s some savvy advice on how to allocate wisely between taxable and nontaxable savings accounts. It

Sunday, April 17, 2011 10:00 am
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

Investments that keep a retirement nest egg safe are tough to find these days. Even municipal bonds, which have been the bedrock of many people’s portfolio for years, are looking shaky these days. I wrote this week about the threat that governments won’t be able to cover their deficits or meet their pension obligations. This

Friday, March 25, 2011 11:47 am
By Sheyna Steiner · Bankrate.com

Municipal bonds have been the subject of an unusual amount of interest in the past year. Most of the attention has been negative as a result of some dire predictions for state and local finances from high-profile analysts. Since November, municipal bond funds have seen more money going out than coming in, according to Investment

Friday, January 28, 2011 7:00 am
By Sheyna Steiner · Bankrate.com

Municipal bonds continue to hog the spotlight as the debate continues over just how bad 2011 will be for state and local governments. The Fundmastery Blog on Marketwatch.com neatly summed up what’s going on in muni finance in the post “Muni bonds taking a double hit.” On Monday, Kurt Brouwer wrote, “Muni bond investors are

Friday, January 07, 2011 8:00 am
By Sheyna Steiner · Bankrate.com

Coming months may be stressful for some municipalities but Moody’s Investor Service does not expect any state governments to default on Moody’s-rated debt in 2011. The ratings agency expects only a few local governments to default on debt obligations this year. In a new report released Thursday, Moody’s concluded that most U.S. municipalities are well-equipped