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Feature Article

Big Yield Hunting in a High(er) Rate World

By Roger S. Conrad on Dec. 11, 2023

When investment markets get roiled, most people assume the future holds more of the same. And so it is with the nearly unanimous consensus forecast of “higher for longer” interest rates. I still see a decent chance the Federal Reserve will raise the benchmark Fed Funds rate at least one more time this cycle, to bring its benchmark for inflation back to a long-term target rate of 2 percent. But so far as borrowing costs are concerned, the damage is done. In December 2021, for example, A- rated WEC Energy Group (NYSE: WEC) issued 7-year bonds with a yield to maturity of just 2.237 percent. But earlier this fall, the company issued 3-year debt at a yield to maturity of 5.6 percent.

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