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Bonds

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Treasury Bill Investments Backed by U.S. Government

For short-term investing, Treasury bills (called T-bills) are the nation’s most marketable security. T-bills are issued with 3-, 6- or 12-month maturities. When you purchase a T-bill, you pay less than [more…]

Traditional Investments: Stocks and Bonds

As an investor, you have a variety of options to choose from, including stocks and bonds. The investment you select depends on your financial goals, your investment preferences, and your tolerance for [more…]

Why a Company’s Bond Rating Is Important

A company’s bond rating offers insight into the organization’s financial strength. Bonds get rated for quality for the same reasons that consumer agencies rate products such as cars or toasters — to gauge [more…]

How to Define a Bond as a Financial Tool

When a government or business — think the United States government, or the city of Philadelphia, or Procter and Gamble — needs to raise money, they may decide to issue a bond. A bond is really not much [more…]

Maturities Define Differences among Short, Intermediate, and Long Bonds

Almost all bonds these days are issued with life spans (maturities) of up to 30 years. These life spans determine whether they are short, intermediate, or long. In the parlance of bond people, any bond [more…]

How Individual Bonds and Bond Funds Compare

Bond investing requires you to decide whether you want to invest in individual bonds or bond funds. Here are some of the pros and cons of owning individual bonds versus bond funds. [more…]

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…]

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 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…]

Housing Starts Reports Reflect Construction Trends

Released every month, housing starts statistics are compiled by the U.S. Commerce Department and reported in three parts: building permits, housing starts, and housing completions. [more…]

Bond ETFs: Tapping into Bonds in Various Ways

Like stocks, bonds can be bought individually, or you can invest in any of hundreds of bond mutual funds or about 150 bond ETFs. The primary reason for picking a bond fund over individual bonds is the [more…]

Bond ETFs: The Value of Diversification

To be honest, diversification in bond ETFs, while important, isn’t quite as crucial as diversification in stock ETFs. If you own high-quality U.S. government bonds [more…]

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