The Independent Market Observer

Rob Swanke

Rob Swanke, CFA®, is a senior fixed income analyst on the Investment Management and Research team at Commonwealth Financial Network®, member FINRA/SIPC, the nation's largest privately held Registered Investment Adviser–independent broker/dealer. He joined the firm in October 2012 and is responsible for responding to inquiries on corporate fixed income portfolios, including the analysis of individual corporate bonds, structured products, and preferred stock issues. In addition, he is responsible for asset class and market research related to fixed income. Rob graduated from Boston College, where he concentrated in finance and accounting. He is a CFA® charterholder.

Recent Posts

Q4 2023 Earnings Preview: A Glass Half-Full for 2024?

January 11, 2024

Making New Year’s resolutions usually involves some level of reflection on how to be a better person and the possibilities ahead. You might write down your goals for the future, while also looking back on your accomplishments (and failures). In doing so, you may find growth where you didn’t expect it, even if it comes in the form of small wins toward your bigger goals.

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Q3 2023 Earnings: A Little Taste of Everything This Thanksgiving

November 21, 2023

Everyone has their Thanksgiving favorites, whether that’s the turkey, the mashed potatoes, the stuffing, or the gravy. For me, it’s the pie—blueberry with my mom’s homemade whipped cream.

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Q3 2023 Earnings Preview: Do You Believe in Bad Omens?

October 12, 2023

Breaking a mirror, walking under a ladder, and a black cat crossing your path have all been seen as bad omens. Another one is Friday the 13th, which happens to be when the big banks will kick off earnings season. So, should we fear what’s in store?

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Bringing the 60/40 Portfolio Back to Life

April 20, 2022

Over the past few years, many people have been looking for alternatives to the 60/40 portfolio (a portfolio allocation of 60 percent equities/40 percent fixed income)—and for good reason. The Fed’s massive intervention to lower interest rates made the 40 percent allocation to fixed income in the 60/40 portfolio much less attractive. With inflation reaching levels we haven’t seen in decades and the Fed set to push interest rates higher, people have been wondering whether fixed income still provides the protection of principal that many investors are looking for. The Bloomberg US Aggregate Bond Index’s worst quarter in more than two decades has certainly increased this concern. This pain, however, has put fixed income in a much healthier position going forward with higher starting yields able to cushion investors from further declines in price.

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When Assessing the Risk of Your Portfolio, It’s Personal

December 16, 2021

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen a large-scale exercise in risk assessment. Both governments and individuals have had to make a number of risk assessments, weighing the cost and benefits of different actions without definitive information. Investors are making investment decisions based on risk as well, as no one can be a perfect forecaster. So, to the extent we can, we must not only be conscious of the uncertainty of our investment returns but also of the risk that we will make poor choices when faced with different results, both good and bad.

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With Rates Down Again, Where Does Fixed Income Fit in a Portfolio?

August 5, 2021

Today’s post is from Rob Swanke, senior fixed income analyst on our Investment Management and Research team.

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With Interest Rates Up, Should Investors Search for Yield?

April 23, 2021

The 10-year Treasury yield has been climbing steadily since hitting a low of 0.5 percent in August 2020. This week, as of April 20, it was close to 1.56 percent. But the rise in rates hasn’t been equal across the broad spectrum of fixed income instruments. If you’re an investor who hasn’t made any changes to your fixed income portfolio since last August, it’s likely your exposures have changed. As a result, your investments may not be delivering the benefits you’re looking for. To assess the situation, take a look under the hood at your fixed income portfolio. But first you need to understand what current interest rates are telling us—and how inflation is involved.

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With CARES Act Programs Closing, What’s Ahead for the Markets?

December 18, 2020

Today’s post comes to you from Rob Swanke, fixed income analyst on our Investment Management and Research team.

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Finding Income in a Low-Rate Environment

August 6, 2020

Brad here. Today, Rob Swanke, an analyst with Commonwealth’s Investment Management and Research team, takes a look at the benefits and the risks of preferred stock as a source of yield in a portfolio. Over to you, Rob.

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Investing in an Election Year

January 7, 2020

Brad here. Today, Rob Swanke, an analyst with Commonwealth’s Investment Management and Research team, shares his insights. Enjoy!

It’s 2020, the beginning of a presidential election year. As the months unfold, the election will likely become the primary market risk to worry about for many people. Democratic primary voting will begin in February with the Iowa caucuses, but only 4 percent of the delegates will be chosen that month. The party’s direction won’t begin to unfold until March 3, when 34 percent of the delegates will be chosen by 14 states. But we still won’t have clarity at that point, as delegates are distributed proportionally for each state by the Democratic Party. With several candidates polling in the double digits, a lot of uncertainty regarding the Democratic nominee may exist right up to the July convention. Although the bull market has lasted more than a decade, will valuations keep moving higher in this uncertain political climate?

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