It seems as though America is always engaged in a struggle between two opposing forces. Whether it's Republican versus Democrat or "tastes great" versus "less filling," it is often difficult to find the middle ground. This task is harder because over time the middle ground may actually shift. This struggle is evident today in fixed-income investing as clients are caught between the desire to "stay safe" and the desire to generate "more income."

The past few years have coupled high levels of uncertainty and apprehension with an environment of decreasing interest rates, with one perhaps driving the other. At first, clients simply sought a safe harbor from the storm, but now they are increasingly aware of the risk of running low on income to cover their living needs. So maybe it's just the natural progression that they are now exploring fixed-income options outside of the relative safety of the most conservative approaches. This means taking risks, including some that clients may not be aware of or attuned to.

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