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Bond ETFs: Keep the Expenses Low

Low costs are even more essential in picking a bond ETF than they are in picking a stock ETF. When (historically, at least over the past century) you’re looking at maybe earning 2.4 percent above inflation [more…]

Bond ETFs: Current Yield and SEC 30-Day Yield

There are about 150 bond ETFs, most of them introduced in the past five years. They are issued by iShares, Market Vectors, PIMCO, PowerShares, State Street SPDRs, Vanguard, iPath, Guggenheim, and WisdomTree [more…]

Bond ETFs: Tapping the Treasurys

Treasury bond ETFs come in short-term, intermediate-term, and long-term varieties, depending on the average maturity date of the bonds in the ETF’s portfolio. In general, the longer the term, the higher [more…]

Bond ETFs: Hedging against Inflation with TIPS

Either the iShares Barclays TIPS Bond Fund ETF (TIP) or the very similar SPDR Barclays Capital TIPS ETF (IPE) is a fabulous way to hedge your bond portfolio against inflation. [more…]

Bond ETFs: What the Bond Ratings Mean

If you are going to hold a portion of your investment portfolio in bond ETFs, you will need to have some knowledge of bond ratings.

In August 2011, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s [more…]

Bond ETFs: Banking on Corporate Bonds

Corporate bonds typically pay higher rates than government bonds (about 1 percent a year higher), so you would expect the long-term payout from this ETF to be higher than any government bond ETF, except [more…]

Aggregate Bond ETFs Can Provide a Good Mix of Bonds for Your Portfolio

The broadest fixed income ETFs are all-around good bets, especially for more modest sized portfolios. Note that these bond ETFs use a total bond market approach, which means about two-thirds government [more…]

Bond ETFs: National Municipal Bond Funds

There are a few national municipal ETFs — that is, funds that hold state and local government bonds from across the land — that are worthy of consideration for your portfolio. [more…]

Bond ETFs: Foreign Bonds for Fixed-Income Diversification

If you allocate roughly half your equities to overseas ETFs in your stock portfolio, you’ll have plenty of exposure to foreign currencies. But still, if you have a fairly large portfolio and half or more [more…]

Bond ETFs: Emerging-Market Bonds Mean High Risk, High Return

Although emerging market bond ETFs have been around for only a few years, emerging-market bond mutual funds have been in existence for much longer. The T. Rowe Price Emerging Markets Bond Fund [more…]

What Exactly Are Bonds and How Do They Work?

Bonds are long-term lending agreements between a borrower and a lender. For example, when a municipality (such as a city, county, town, or village) needs to build new roads or a hospital, it issues bonds [more…]

How to Read Bond Ratings

Before you buy a bond, get an idea of how much financial muscle the issuer has. Bond ratings are available through any brokerage house. Three of the most popular rating services are Moody’s, Standard & [more…]

Questions to Ask a Bond Broker about a Bond

As you enter the world of bond investing, you may choose to work with a broker. But use some caution. Ask the questions in the following list — and get acceptable answers — before parting with your cash [more…]

Important Websites for Bond Investors

Successful bond investing isn’t about luck, it’s about researching markets, comparing offers . . . and luck. These seven websites serve as your navigation guide through the vast universe of bonds and bond [more…]

How to Choose between a Taxable and a Tax-Free Municipal Bond

As a bond investor, you’re probably most interested in the bonds that will leave you with more money at the end of the day. If it comes to a choice between taxable and tax-free municipal bonds, grab your [more…]

Bond Investing For Dummies Cheat Sheet

If you want to invest in bonds, you need to know how to read the bond ratings that the big three rating companies use and how to figure whether a taxable or tax-free municipal bond is the better investment [more…]

The Four Major Types of Investment Bonds

Investment bonds are issued by thousands of different governments, government agencies, municipalities, financial institutions, and corporations. They all pay interest. Following are some important considerations [more…]

Five Things You Need to Know before Investing in Bonds

A bond is really not much more than an IOU with a serial number — you lend someone your money for a period of time, and they promise to pay you back (with interest) after that time is over. There is money [more…]

Who Are the Bond Issuers?

Who or what issues agency bonds? The answer to that question is more complex than you may imagine. This article will help you sort it out. [more…]

Brokers and Other Financial Professionals

If you want to invest in individual bonds, the first thing you need is a reliable broker or dealer — a person or institution to place the actual trades for you. [more…]

How to Choose a Bond Broker or Agent

Here are a few online resources and tips for choosing a bond broker or agent, so that with the tap of some keys and the click of a mouse, you can access the most modern methods — the most efficient, friendly [more…]

Bond Investing FAQ

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about bond investing. So just what are bonds? A bond is basically an IOU. You lend your money to Uncle Sam, to General Electric, to Procter & Gamble, [more…]

Do It Yourself: Trading Bonds Online

A growing number of financial supermarkets and specialty bond shops now allow you to trade bonds online, and they advertise that you can do so for a fixed price. In the case of Fidelity, the price is generally [more…]

All About Stocks, Bonds, and Annuities in Your Portfolio

Stocks and bonds come in many flavors that can be added to your portfolio. Although the world of investments offers countless opportunities — and dangers! — all investments qualify as one of these two [more…]

When to Hire a Financial Planner

Lots of people today, including stock and bond brokers, call themselves financial planners. A good suggestion is that if you hire a financial planner, you seriously consider a [more…]


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