Article on Fed Causes Market to Rethink Fed's Plan for Quantitative Easing

The Wall Street Journal on Friday published an article that manyare pointing to as the reason for the most recent bond market selloff. The article was entitled "Fed Maps Exit from Stimulus," and discusses how the Federal Reserve is framing its strategy for the eventual reduction of the current $85 billion-a-month buying program. The key message is this: "Officials say they plan to reduce the amount of bonds they buy in careful and potentially halting steps, varying their purchases as their confidence about the job market and inflation evolves. The timing on when to start is still being debated." We see this as a natural progression of Chairman Bernanke wanting to be very open with the market to avoid any surprises. The article went on to say that officials within the Fed want to avoid creating expectations that their retreat will be a steady, uniform process like their approach from 2003 to 2006, when they raised short-term interest rates in a series of quarter-point increments over 17 straight policy meetings. With inflation currently at 1.1%, SNW Asset Management does not see a risk of the Fed changing its bond buying in the near term. We remind our clients that, if they become concerned with the prospect of rising rates, we can adjust a portfolio's duration (e.g., from Intermediate to Short) to reduce any effect that a change in Fed policies would have on their portfolios. Please feel free to reach out to your Portfolio Manager should you have any questions regarding what duration is most appropriate  for you.