We explore the concept of bond laddering.  Both the reason and how to do it. 


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Episode 001 – Bond Ladders

Rick:                 Hi. Welcome to Market Thoughts. I am Rick Zich, an advisor here at Southwest Investment Advisors. Joining me is Bart Schannep, cofounder and president of Southwest Investments. How are you doing Bart?


Bart:                 I’m good Rick.


Rick:                 Excellent, excellent. I was speaking to a client the other day. I was going to be recommending a bond ladder, and the lights went out. Not a clear understanding about bond ladders. Why don’t you dig into bond ladders for us?


Bart:                 Well, it’s been a long time since people have been buying bond ladders. In an interest rate environment like we’ve had for quite a few years now of interest rates falling, it’s always made sense to simply buy the longer bond maturities to lock in the rates as rates kept falling. Well, now we’re at the point where interest rates are very, very low. Now, we’ve said this before. How low can they go? It’s amazing how low they can go.


Rick:                 That’s right. We weren’t expecting two cuts this year but there’s…


Bart:                 No, but here they are.


Rick:                 Yes.


Bart:                 Now, where are interest rates going to go from here? Well, really only one of two directions, either stay the same or go up. How does one position oneself with a fixed income portfolio in a rising interest rate environment? A timeless strategy is to use a bond ladder.

As an example, you can see on the screen. If we were to take a $50,000 portfolio and divide into five $10,000 bonds maturing in one year, two year, three year, four year and five year, as you can see on the left of your screen, interest rates, and I know the interest rates that are being shown are not available in today’s world. It’s simply for demonstration. What you can see is the longer you go out, the higher the rate of return.

Then as the first bond matures, as the one-year bond matures, we then buy a new five-year bond. The next year, when that 10,000 matures, we then buy a new five-year bond. Well, what happens? Well, over time, we end up with the five-year bond yield and yet we have a bond maturing in one year, two year, three year, four year and five year.

In other words or in simple terms, at the two-and-a-half-year mark is our average maturity and yet getting the five-year yield. The advantage of doing a bond ladder in a rising interest rate environment is every time you buy a new bond, you’re buying it at hopefully after rates have risen. You keep buying better and better returns.


Rick:                 Well, thank you for that insight, Bart. I really appreciate it, and I’m sure our clients do as well. Thank you for joining us. We hope you enjoyed this explanation of bond ladders. We look forward to seeing you next time.


Sarah has been working at Southwest Investment Advisors since October of 2017.

Hers is the first friendly face you will encounter when visiting the office.

Sarah’s responsibilities include assisting clients with online access, processing account documents, scheduling meetings and assisting in all aspects of client services.

When she is not working here you may find Sarah on the shooting range serving as an assistant instructor and safety coach.

She has two children, son Zach is a graduate of the University of Arizona and daughter Paige who will graduate in 2019.


Kataya has been with Southwest Investment Advisors since January of 2017.

She assists Alix with portfolio construction, rebalancing, and trading.

Kataya also plans our company’s client appreciation events and assists with the company website.

In her free time Kataya enjoys spending time with her family and her dog, traveling to new places, and getting involved with local events.


Lacey has been with Southwest Investment Advisors since 2007 and has been the Operations Manager since 2012.

Her primary duties are assisting clients, assisting Advisors, processing paperwork, and working with our back office at LPL Financial.

When she’s not working she enjoys riding horses and spending time with her husband, Dustin, her two small children, and her dogs, Tebow and Ellie.

Lacey and her family really enjoy traveling, spending time outdoors, and watching her dad, Robert Wright, play the banjo.


Robert has been an Advisor since 2012 following in the footsteps of both his father and grandfather. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and graduated Summa cum Laude from BIOLA. After working several years in Social Services Robert has a distinct perspective when helping people create and manage their financial goals.

When Robert is not working, life is all about family. Along with his lovely wife, Robin, four beautiful children and their dog, he enjoys traveling in the family bus, which is always an adventure. He enjoys meditating, praying, journaling and plays the guitar daily to maintain his sanity!

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Licensing and Regulatory​:

Licenses: Series 7, Series 63, Series 31 held through LPL Financial and the Series 66 is held through LPL Financial and Southwest Investment Advisors


Rob is an original co-founder, has been in the industry since 1994. He has degrees in English and Liberal Studies as well as a Teaching Certificate from California State San Bernardino.

Before becoming a Financial Advisor, Rob was a member of the New Christy Minstrels and he continues to perform with his banjos and other stringed instruments in concert as a member of the Wildcat Jazz Band throughout North America and as a guest artist with local symphonies and at various music festivals. Rob and his wife, Linda have one daughter and two grandchildren.

Rob has since retired and no longer has duties at Southwest Investment Advisors, Inc.


Original co-founder, Bart has worked as an Investment Advisor since 1983.  He was with Dean Witter/Morgan Stanley for fifteen years, serving as Branch Manager during the final four years, before moving to Piper Jaffray as Branch Manager for an additional three-and-a-half years before co-founding Southwest Investment Advisors.

In 2008, Bart become one of the first 200 professionals obtaining the industry’s newest designation, the Certified Wealth Strategist® designation, and administered by Cannon Financial Institute.

In May, 2010 Bart was selected for the distinction of Outstanding Advisor of the Year by Registered Rep Magazine, one of 10 financial advisors selected by the editors for 2010. From hundreds of nominees, the winning advisors have demonstrated both business success and leadership in serving as guides to other financial advisors and as active participants in community activities.

He is active in his church and served as President of the Board for Gospel Rescue Mission of Tucson from 2007 – 2010 and 2015 – 2018.  Bart also has served on the Board of Adjustments for the town of Oro Valley from 2002 – 2008.  Bart and his wife Marcella have three grown children and several grandchildren. Together they enjoy wine tasting, scuba diving, and travel.

Bart has since retired and has no responsibilities at Southwest Investment Advisors, Inc.


Rick is in charge of the managerial duties at Southwest Investment Advisors.  As a Financial Advisor, he meets with new and existing clients and helps with problem solving.

He has a Bachelors of Science in Business and Marketing from Purdue University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. His past 20 years of business experience includes roles of Controller, CFO, and President of consumer goods companies with double digit growth for over a decade.  He and his wife own a local jewelry boutique, Trinity Diamonds.

Outside of the office, Rick enjoys keeping up with the latest in tech news, scuba diving, hiking, playing the electric bass guitar (well, trying to), and keeping the dogs happy with long walks.

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Alix’s primary roles in the team are portfolio management and client contact. She focuses on building and maintaining client relationships and reviewing and constructing portfolios that reflect clients’ individual goals.

Alix holds a BS in Business Administration from Pepperdine University, where she studied both in Malibu, California and Florence, Italy. She started with Southwest Investments in 2009 on the operational side of the business and has built her way to the sales side.

In 2014 Alix obtained one of the industry’s newest designations, the Certified Wealth Strategist® designation, administered by Cannon Financial Institute.

When she’s not in the office, Alix enjoys traveling and exercising with her husband Phil, singing at the Vineyard Christian Community, and meeting up for tea or a cold brew. She has a wonderful family and close group of friends and is excited to be a part of the team here at Southwest Investment Advisors.

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