Brinker's reply was
"That's a personal decision, Pamela. I really can't tell you what to do with your bonds. I have some California bonds, but in almost all cases my bonds might be different than your bonds and I'll tell you why. The bonds that I own have Treasuries behind them. In other words, they've been pre-refunded by earlier transactions by the state and backed by Treasuries. So in almost all cases, the California bonds that I own are actually backed by Treasuries and are not backed by the State of California....."Honeybee gives a full report of the call at Summary: Bob Brinker's Moneytalk December 20, 2008
I looked up what "pre-refunded" means. It simply means Brinker's bonds will be "called" so he will soon get his money back. It is similar to refinancing your home mortgage where the borrower will get a better rate and you have to invest your cash now at very unattractive interest rates. For example, Vanguard's Prime Money Market Fund is only paying about 2.43% these days.
It may also mean he sold his CA GO bonds and bought some of these "prerefunded CA GO Bonds" in the secondary market for their safety but lower interest rate. If he did that, then he should have told the lady caller he sold his CA GO bonds to get safer ones.
If they were called away, then Brinker won't get the interest rate he thought he would get for the full term when he bought the bonds. Brinker will get his money back early and will have to reinvest the money, perhaps at much lower rates than had he bought a CD. Brinker 's audience probably could have done much, much better locking money into CDs (CD Rate Survey) which are not callable so they get the good rates for the full term.
From BondDesk.com Glossary:
Callable Bond: A condition of a bond permitting the issuer to redeem it before maturity on specified dates at specified prices.I don't know why Brinker did not say his bonds have been called and he will get his money back early or he sold his CA GO bonds to buy this safer investment. Maybe he didn't want to admit his advice to buy them turned out to be poor compared to buying CDs of the same term. It would be a good lesson on why buying bonds has risks not often mentioned.
Pre-Refund: Bonds that will be called on the stated call (pre-refunded) date. The monies used to call the bonds are on deposit in an irrevocable escrow account from the proceeds of a more recent bond issue from the same issuer. Bonds are pre-refunded in order to take advantage of the lower interest rates, thus lowering the issuer's interest expense.
Call Risk: For a REMIC, the risk that declining interest rates may accelerate mortgage loan prepayment speeds, causing an investor's principal to be returned sooner than expected. As a consequence, investors may have to reinvest their principal at a lower rate of interest.
The very low treasury rates for short term monies could be from demand from states like CA buying short term treasuries to "pre-refund" the debt they refinance at lower rates.
With rates so low, banks will try to sell you their annuity products. Make sure you read my article:
Highest CD Rate Survey + Current US Treasury Rates"
|Term ||Date ||Highest |
(Click link for Full Rate Sheets)
|Daily Savings ||12/21/08||2.43% || Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund |
|Tax Exempt ||12/21/08||1.03% ||Vanguard Tax Exempt Money Market Fund|
|Online Savings||12/21/08||3.00% ||High Performance Money Fund @ Wachovia Bank|
|3-Month Treasury ||12/21/08||-0.01% ||US Treasury Rates at a glance|
|6 Months||12/21/08||3.51% ||Fultdirect.com & 3.50% @ Corus Bank|
|6-Month Treasury||12/21/08||0.14%||US Treasury Rates at a glance|
|7 Months||12/21/08||2.00% || Wachovia Bank |
|1 Year ||12/21/08 ||3.90% ||MetLife Bank |
|1 Year Treasury||12/21/08||0.37% ||US Treasury Rates at a glance|
|18 Months||12/21/08||3.95% || MetLife Bank |
|2 Years ||12/21/08 ||4.25%||MetLife Bank|
|2 Year Treasury||12/21/08||0.74% ||US Treasury Rates at a glance|
|3 Years||12/21/08||4.35%||MetLife Bank |
|3-Yr Treasury||12/21/08||1.03%||US Treasury Rates at a glance|
|4 Years ||12/21/08||4.51%||Flagstar Bank & 4.35% @ MetLife Bank |
|5 Years ||12/21/08||5.00%||Washington Mutual - WaMu|
|5 Yr Treasury||12/21/08||1.36%||US Treasury Rates at a glance|
|7 Years||12/21/08||4.75%||Pentagon Federal Credit Union|
|10 Yr Treasury ||12/21/08||2.12% ||US Treasury Rates at a glance |
|10 Years||12/21/08||4.15% ||Intervest National Bank|
|30 Yr Treasury||12/21/08||2.55% ||US Treasury Rates at a glance |
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