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APA’s philosophy is to work closely with our clients to develop an in-depth understanding of their unique needs and objectives. We then customize a municipal bond portfolio that best meets their specific goals and needs. APA manages high quality municipal bond portfolios in four strategies: Short-Term, Intermediate-Term, High Income, and Taxable.

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News Analysis for the Investor on March 12, 2012

World markets fall on Chinese slowdown

| BY Catherine McBreen


World markets fall on slowdown of Chinese trade

Over the weekend China reported its biggest monthly trade deficit in a decade in February.  Export growth slowed and imports rose.  January-February exports slowed to 6.9 percent down from 13.4 percent in December, according to the Associated Press.  Imports were at 7.7 percent.  A slowdown in the Chinese economy is expected to impact world markets. The Dow closed up 14 points on Friday, ending at 12,922.  Asian markets closed mostly down but European markets are beginning the week up slightly.

Collapse of section of China railway jolts shares

The Associated Press is reporting that part of a high speed railway line in China collapsed on Friday in central China following heavy rains, jolting shares and reviving worries over safety.  The official state agency reported that a 300 meter section collapsed but there were no casualties.  The railways, however, denied the reports.  China has 13 high speed railways in operation with 26 under construction and 23 more planned.  The World Bank lauded China for its initiatives in this area.  Shares of Chinese rail companies fell 4 to 6 percent today.  China will spend $630 billion on high speed railways this year.

Don’t expect high-yields on ETF bond funds

Despite the fact that investors are pouring money into high-yield bond funds, industry experts are warning investors that returns are likely to be lower than posted by mainstream high-yield bond indices, especially for ETFs, due to high trading costs and inefficiencies in the market.  According to the Financial Times,  high-yield exchange traded bond funds have already attracted inflows of $6.6 billion this year, compared to $8.4 billion in all of 2011.

Senators Criticize Payment of Bonuses to MF Global Execs by Bankruptcy Trustee

Several Senators are criticizing the plan of the MF Global bankruptcy trustee to pay bonuses to three executives currently assisting in the bankruptcy, demanding that the funds be paid to the shareholder and customers who are receiving only a portion of their funds, according to the Wall Street Journal.  The Trustee claims that using the executives to untangle accounting records is less costly and more efficient than hiring outside accountants.  Most MF Global customers have received about 72 cents for every dollar they had at the firm when it collapsed.

Younger workers finding jobs

Further analysis of the Labor Department’s jobs report shows that jobs for 25-34 year olds increased by 116,000 to 30.5 million in February.  Their unemployment rate fell from 9 percent in January to 8.7 percent in February, the lowest since January 2009, according to USAToday. In May 2010, the unemployment rate for 25-34 year olds was 10.5 percent, almost a full point higher than the overall US unemployment rate.  The overall unemployment rate in February remained at 8.3 percent.

About the Author

Catherine McBreen

Catherine S. McBreen is President of Millionaire Corner.  McBreen plans and develops content for Millionaire Corner.  Catherine balances editorial content to meet the informational needs of both new and seasoned investors.  She designs special monthly surveys on topical issues affecting the economic environment.

McBreen has a B.S. in speech communications from Northwestern University and a J.D. from DePail University College of Law.  She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association.

Well-known for her expertise in the affluent and retirement arenas, McBreen is a frequent speaker at industry conferences.  She has been quoted widely by the financial media, including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Research, Private Asset Management, On Wall Street, Reuters, Bloomberg News, The Dow Jones Newswires and Worth.  Cathy has appeared as a guest on CNBC Closing Bell, First Business Morning News, Neal Cavuto at Fox Business News, ABC and CBS radio.

McBreen is co-author with Spectrem President George H. Walper, Jr. of the book "Get Rich, Stay Rich, Pass It On: The Wealth-Accumulation Secrets of America's Richest Families" (Portfolio, January 2008)

Catherine is the mother of four and is involved in many school and community events.