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Which Bonds Are Riskier as Investments?

Every year, millions of bonds are issued by thousands of different governments, government agencies, corporations, and municipalities. The following list looks at the degree of risk for each major kind [more…]

What Are Coupon and Current Bond Yield All About?

When you invest in bonds, there are several different types of yield that bond salespeople will talk about, including coupon yield and current yield. It’s important to understand what kind of yield is [more…]

What Are Yield-to-Maturity and Yield-to-Call Bonds All About?

When you invest in bonds, bond salespeople will talk about several types of bond yields, including yield-to-maturity and yield-to-call. Understanding what kind of yield is being promised on a bond or bond [more…]

How to Determine Total Returns from Bonds or Bond Fund Investments

Total return is the entire pot of money you wind up with after an investment period has come and gone. Bonds or bond funds involve your interest and any changes in the value of your original principal. [more…]

“Risk-Free” Investing: U.S. Treasury Bonds

The U.S. Treasury issues lot of different kinds of debt securities. Savings bonds, which can be purchased for small amounts and come in certificate form [more…]

What Are Treasury Bills, Notes, and Bonds All About?

About 98 percent of the approximately $5 trillion in outstanding Treasury debt is made up not of savings bonds but of marketable (tradable) securities known as bills, notes, and bonds. [more…]

What Are Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities All About?

Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) receive both interest and a twice-yearly increase in principal for inflation. As with interest on other Treasury securities, interest on TIPS is free from [more…]

Are Corporate Bonds Worth the Investment?

Corporate bonds may not be worth the investment, especially when compared to Treasury bonds. Here’s what you need to worry about when investing in corporate bonds: [more…]

How a Corporation’s Credit Rating Relates to Risk and Returns

The largest determinant of the risk and return you take on by investing in bonds is the fiscal strength of the company behind the bond. A company’s credit ratings are the measure of that financial muscle [more…]

How Are Callable Bonds Risky?

If you own a callable bond, chances are that it will be called at the worst moment — just as interest rates are falling and the value of your bond is on the rise. At that moment, the company that issued [more…]

Pros and Cons of Convertible Bonds

Some corporate bond issuers sell bonds that can be converted into a fixed number of shares of common stock. With a convertible bond, a lender (bondholder) can become a part owner [more…]

What Are Agency Bonds All About?

As an investment, agency bonds fit under two large umbrellas. Some of them are United States federal agencies; they are an actual part of the government just like Congress. Such official agencies include [more…]

Who Are the Biggest Issuers of Agency Bonds?

The three largest issuers of agency bonds are the Federal National Mortgage Association (known colloquially as Fannie Mae), the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation [more…]

Agency Bonds: The Risks and Returns

All agency bonds are considered high quality with very little risk of default. The honest-and-true federal agencies, such as the Small Business Administration [more…]

The Purpose and Power of Municipal Bonds

If not for the fact that municipal bonds are exempt from federal income tax, they would likely be about as popular as buttermilk at a college keg party. For example, high quality munis with maturities [more…]

Rating Municipal Bonds: Safe Investments

Municipal bonds are very safe animals — at least those rated by the major rating agencies (such as Moody’s), which are the vast majority of munis. If the mild nature of the beast weren’t enough to put [more…]

How to Choose a Municipal Bond

When choosing a municipal bond, or muni, there are a lot of things to consider. First, you definitely want munis that are rated. Some municipal offerings are not rated, and these can be risky investments [more…]

Paying Taxes on Municipal Bonds

If you are buying municipal bonds, then there are two taxes that may rear their heads on April 15: the AMT tax and capital gains taxes. [more…]

What Are Exchange-Traded Funds All About?

A share of an ETF (exchange-traded fund) represents ownership (most typically) in a basket of company stocks. To buy or sell an ETF, you place an order with a broker, either by phone or online. [more…]

Why Exchange-Traded Funds Are Better than Individual Stocks

Why buy a basket of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) rather than an individual stock? You’ll sleep better knowing that your risk is spread around, rather than based on the performance of a single stock that [more…]

The Cost Advantage of ETFs Compared to Mutual Funds

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) offer a major cost advantage over mutual funds. The management companies that bring us ETFs, such as Barclays and PowerShares, can offer ETFs so cheaply compared to mutual [more…]

Potential Pitfalls of Trading ETFs

Here are some facts about ETFs that you should consider before investing your hard-earned dollars in exchange-traded funds. You have to pay a commission every time you buy and sell an ETF. The good news [more…]

How to Choose a Broker for ETF Investments

You can’t personally buy a share of an ETF — you need someone to actually buy it for you and hold it for you. That someone is a broker, sometimes referred to as a [more…]

ETF Investments Start with Opening a Brokerage House Account

Before you can invest in exchange-traded funds, you’ll need to open an account with a brokerage house. The brokerage will ask lots of questions related to your personal finances, your financial goals, [more…]

The Basics of Placing an Order to Buy ETFs

Your first step to buying exchange-traded funds is to set up an account with a brokerage house. Then, you’re ready to buy your first ETF.

ETFs are usually traded just as stocks are traded. Same commissions [more…]

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