A veteran municipal expert seeks to break new ground and bridge generations of municipal investors and professionals with his latest book about the municipal bond industry.

The 208-page paperback, “Bloomberg Visual Guide to Municipal Bonds,” was authored by Robert Doty, president of Sacramento-based municipal consulting firm AGFS. It is part of the “Bloomberg Visual” series published by John Wiley & Sons for Bloomberg Press.

The book is now available at bookstores and Amazon.com, and will soon debut in digital format for tablet users. Doty said the electronic edition for products like Kindle, iPad, the Barnes and Noble Nook, and Sony eReader will offer active web links, video tutorials, special pop-up features,and other visual enhancements.

The guide targets retail investors, issuers and market professionals, and explains the diversity and complexities of municipal finance. It also explains the key distinctions between traditional municipal bonds and other areas of tax-exempt finance, like land-based and nursing home sectors, that offer “greater rewards for greater risk.”

Doty told The Bond Buyer that the book is highly relevant given the continuing fiscal stresses experienced by cities and counties, such as Stockton, Calif., which is considering Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

He said he was prompted to write the book to educate mom-and-pop investors and professionals about the “widely misunderstood” muni market. It aims to dispel the myths that spooked muni investors during the onslaught of what he calls “seriously erroneous statements by a number of purported experts and published media reports” in 2011.

Tim Schaefer, president of Magis Advisors Inc., who was a contributor to the publication, said it is user-friendly and its print and digital release will enhance accessibility and bridge the gap between generations of municipal bond investors and professionals.

“I still want to hold a book in my hand, but many of the younger generation are comfortable operating in the virtual world,” he said.

Schaefer also believes the launch is well-timed since retail investors have been expanding their footprint in the municipal market lately.

Jim Spiotto, a partner at Chicago-based Chapman and Cutler LLP who was also a contributor, said the book offers a “very basic approach” to the market and will be helpful to those who want to learn the basics of the government.

Some of the other main contributors include: Matt Fabian, managing director at Municipal Market Advisors on default data; Michael Bartolotta, a vice chairman at First Southwest Co. on trading, liquidity, and other issues for investors, and John Petersen of George Mason University on economic analysis of defaults.

In his 35-year career as a financial advisor, bond counsel and investment banker, Doty has authored a half dozen other books, and has written numerous articles for newspapers and professional publications.

Besides Amazon, the guide book is also available for purchase at www.wiley.com.

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