Crane Data is making plans for its fourth annual ultra-short bond fund event, Bond Fund Symposium, which will take place in four months (March 23-24, 2020) at the Hyatt Regency Boston. Crane's Bond Fund Symposium offers a concentrated and affordable educational experience, as well as an excellent networking venue, for bond fund and fixed-income professionals. Registrations are now being accepted ($750) and sponsorship opportunities are available. We review the preliminary agenda and details below. We also give an update on our upcoming "basic training" show, Money Fund University, which will be held in Providence, January 23-24, 2020.

Bond Fund Symposium's Day One (3/23) morning agenda includes: Welcome to Bond Fund Symposium, with Peter Crane of Crane Data; Bond Market Strategists: Rates, Risks, Spreads with Mark Cabana of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Ira Jersey of Bloomberg Intelligence and Alex Roever of J.P. Morgan Securities; Short & Shorter: Ultra-Shorts vs. SMAs III, with Dave Martucci of J.P Morgan A.M. and Jerome Schneider of PIMCO; and ETF & Near-Cash ETF Trends, with Will Goldthwait of State Street Global Advisors and Brian McMullen of Invesco. (Note: The agenda is still a work in progress, so let us know if you're interested in speaking or have any requests.)

The Day One afternoon agenda includes: Senior Portfolio Manager Perspectives with Crane as moderator, James McNerny of J.P. Morgan AM and Dave Rothweiler of UBS Asset Management; Major Issues in Fixed-Income Investing featuring Michael Cloherty as moderator, Matthew Brill of Invesco, Jeff Weaver of Wells Fargo Funds and Peter Yi of Northern Trust AM; and, Index Fund & ESG Issues in the Bond Space with SSGA's Goldthwait and Henry Shilling of Sustainable Research Analysis. Finally, the segment, US Bond Fund Ratings & LGIP Market Update with Greg Fayvelevich of Fitch Ratings and Guyna Johnson of S&P Global Ratings, will close Monday's session, followed by a reception sponsored by Wells Fargo Securities.

Day Two's agenda includes: State of the Bond Fund Marketplace with Crane and Shelly Antoniewicz of the Investment Company Institute; Regulatory Update: Liquidity & Disclosures with Stephen Cohen of Dechert LLP and Jamie Gershkow of Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young; Government Bond Market & Fund Discussion with Sue Hill of Federated Investors; Municipal Bond Market Overview with Kristian Lind of Neuberger Berman and J.R. Rieger of The Rieger Report; Money Fund Update & Conservative USBFs with Crane and Kerry Pope of Fidelity Investments; and Bond Fund Tools & Data with Peter Crane.

Portfolio managers, analysts, investors, issuers, service providers, and anyone interested in expanding their knowledge of bond funds and fixed-income investing will benefit from our comprehensive program. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Hyatt Regency. We'd like to thank our sponsors and exhibitors -- Wells Fargo Securities, Fitch Ratings, Fidelity Investments, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Wells Fargo Asset Management, S&P Global Ratings, DTCC, INTL FCStone, Invesco, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Northern Trust, Bloomberg Intelligence, Goldman Sachs, Federated, Payden & Rygel, PIMCO and Dechert -- for their support. E-mail us for more details.

Also, our 10th Annual Crane's Money Fund University will be held January 23-24 at the Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel. Crane's Money Fund University covers the history of money funds, interest rates, regulations (Rule 2a-7), ratings, rankings, money market instruments such as commercial paper, CDs and repo, and portfolio construction and credit analysis. We also include segments on offshore money funds and ultra-short bond funds.

Money Fund University's comprehensive program is good for anyone -- beginners and experienced professionals looking for a refresher -- alike. The agenda is available online and we are still accepting registrations. (We're also willing to "comp" tickets for large Crane Data or sponsor clients, so let us know if you're interested.)

Finally, mark your calendars for our big show, Crane's Money Fund Symposium, which will be held June 24-26, 2020, at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis. The preliminary agenda will soon be available and we'll soon be taking registrations at: We've also set the dates and location for our next European Money Fund Symposium. It is scheduled for Sept. 17-18, 2020, in Paris, France. Let us know if you'd like more details on any of our events, and we hope to see you in Providence, Boston, Minneapolis or Paris in 2020!

In other news, Federated asks, "Why are investors so interested in ultrashorts?" They write, "Why are investors so interested in ultrashorts? I think it allows investors to take a step out on the yield curve. Instead of being in a very short investment, they can extend a little bit, go a little bit further on the yield curve, pick up a little incremental income and a little additional yield. So that provides investors opportunity to maybe take money they don't need for six months or 12 months and get that extra yield, extra income, and help with their, whether it's a project for a government agency or an institution or if an investor's saving money for a house, it allows them to get a little bit extra pick-up."

Federated's Nicholas Tripodes explains, "In addition, on the other side, if an investor is invested in a longer term, intermediate, or a longer term bond fund, and they wanna take a little risk off the table, a little interest rate risk, they can shorten their position. Also, if investors are taking money out of the stock market, or something that earned them a lot of money but they wanna just get a little bit more conservative, it allows them to invest in a ultrashort product to still get a return, but take some risk off the table. So, in general, ultrashort products allow investors to access credit markets, whether it's investment-grade corporates or asset-back securities, along with treasuries, mortgages, and agencies while reducing interest rate risk by keeping that short duration space."

The piece adds, "What types of risks are associated with ultrashorts? The two main risks are interest rate risk and credit risk. So interest rate risk is really the sensitivity to a rise or fall in interest rates. So if you have a rapid rise in interest rates that could have a negative impact on prices. That really is a risk that's associated with all fixed income investing, but ultrashorts have a little bit lower interest rate risk just because they're usually less than a year average life. The other risk is credit risk. So if you're buying a corporate, investment-grade corporate bond, or asset-back securities, there's underlying credit risk associated with that. But we do have a team of analysts that makes recommendations based on our different credit risk assessments."

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