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What is Bond Laddering?

Bond laddering is a fancy term for diversifying your bond portfolio by maturity. Buy one bond that matures in two years, another that matures in five, and a third that matures in ten, and — presto! — you [more…]

Rebalancing Your Bond Portfolio

Rebalancing means getting your investment portfolio back in order. It won’t be easy. You’ve seen your stocks go up while your bonds have languished; rebalancing is the smart thing to do. [more…]

Investing: Deciding on Bond Funds or Individual Bonds

Before you get into the nitty-gritty of buying and selling bonds, you need to make a decision between individual bonds and bond funds. Thanks to the many recent changes in the bond markets, either choice [more…]

How to Navigate Today’s Individual Bond Market

You usually don’t pay commissions when you trade individual bonds, as you do when you trade stocks. Instead, someone called a broker (an individual wearing a fancy suit) usually trades your bonds. A broker [more…]

What Is Modern Portfolio Theory?

What Modern Portfolio Theory is talking about is diversification: combining an investment (stocks or bonds) that zigs with another that zags, and possibly a third that zogs. In the investment realm, diversification [more…]

Is Now the Time to Buy Bonds?

After suggesting a bond portfolio — or any other kind of portfolio — to a new client, dealers often hear, “But . . . is now a good time to invest in bonds?” The answer is [more…]

Choose between Taxable and Tax-Advantaged Retirement Accounts

Chances are that you have both a taxable account where you can store your investments and a tax-advantaged account, such as an IRA, a Roth IRA, a 401(k), or a 529 college savings plan. Think of these as [more…]

When Individual Bonds Are Best

There may be a few instances where precision in payment isn’t your main motivation to buy an individual bond rather than tap into a bond fund. If any of the following scenarios apply to you, individual [more…]

Is Investing in Individual Bonds Right for You?

Individual bonds and bond funds, like politics and money, are even closer than most people think. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether individual bonds make sense for you. [more…]

Mix and Match Your Various Investments

So, what kinds of investments, whether stocks, bonds, or annuities, go well together, and which kinds clash? You want to include different kinds of investments in any portfolio, preferably investments [more…]

How Do Bonds Provide Diversification?

Okay, okay, so diversification is a good thing, but why must a diversified portfolio include bonds? After all, there are many investments to choose from in this world. [more…]

Avoid Common Pitfalls in Bond Investing

Although Modern Portfolio Theory has its limitations, the science behind the theory is sound, and its real-world applications are profound. Given that just about all asset classes fell in 2008, some people [more…]

What is Your Need for Fixed-Income Diversification?

Diversifying your bonds is still a very good idea. As you know, some stocks can double or triple in price overnight, while others can shrink into oblivion in the time it takes to say “CEO arrested for [more…]

Simple Rules for Investing in Bonds

Stocks and bonds are yin and yang — they go together perfectly. Stocks are where you’re likely to get your growth. Bonds provide predictability and stability. Any other reasons for having bonds in your [more…]

A Few Example Investment Portfolios

The following example investment portfolios are all based on real, live clients who with bond portfolios. All names and most identifying information have been changed to protect the identities of these [more…]

Deciding on the Bond Percentage for Your Portfolio

To figure out what percentage of your portfolio should be in bonds, there's just one thing to remember: There are no simple formulas, because each person's financial situation is unique. One factor, however [more…]

How to Invest for the Future

Here’s how you start thinking about how to achieve your investment goal, whatever it may be. You may be saving and investing to buy a new home, to put your kid [more…]

Case Studies in Bond Portfolio Allocation

Here are a few examples of bond portfolio allocation solutions. Just as there are no hard and fast rules for the percentage of a portfolio that should be in bonds, there are no absolutes when it comes [more…]

Weigh Portfolio Diversification versus Complication

Diversifying with bond funds isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Many bond funds have minimums, often in the $1,000 to $10,000 range. And exchange-traded funds, even though they have no minimums, often [more…]

Consider Agencies for Your Portfolio

Mortgage-backed bonds, usually best purchased in mutual fund form, add a smidgen of diversification to a portfolio and potentially a bit more return than do most other agency bonds. Again, there’s no urgency [more…]

Invest Your Money on Other People’s Mortgages

Far more complicated even than floaters are the mortgage-backed securities issued by federal agencies such as Ginnie Mae and by some government-sponsored enterprises, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac [more…]

Compare and Contrast Agency Bonds

All agency bonds are considered high quality with very little risk of default, but they aren’t all created exactly equal. Here, sort through some considerations to keep in mind when researching agency [more…]

The Four Largest Bond Agencies

Here are the four largest (and most popular with retail investors): the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation [more…]

What to Look for In a Bond Fund

The first rule to follow when choosing a bond fund is to find one appropriate to your particular portfolio needs, which means finding a bond fund made of the right material. [more…]

What You Should Know About Investing in Corporate Bonds

Just as maturity is a major consideration when choosing a Treasury, it should also be a big consideration when choosing corporate bonds. In general (but certainly not always), the longer the bond’s maturity [more…]


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