The Economic Times  39 min ago  Comment 
The ECB's bond purchase changes came less than a week before the Federal Reserve's policy meeting next Tuesday and Wednesday.
Clusterstock  9 hrs ago  Comment 
The election of Donald Trump has sparked a lot of talk about inflation returning to the United States as a result of his protectionist trade policies and plans for massive infrastructure spending. Bond traders have dumped US Treasurys in...  9 hrs ago  Comment 
Pension Protection Fund finds funds are shifting from UK stocks to foreign shares and government bonds to reduce risk Britain’s final salary pension funds have slashed their ownership of stock-market listed companies to just 7% of their total...
DailyFinance  12 hrs ago  Comment 
Filed under: Lifestyle, Pets Dogs are known as man's best friend but no relationship is stronger than those who rely on dogs to save their lives. Not only do they spend the majority of their day together, but they watch out for each other...
Benzinga  Dec 8  Comment 
There is always room for more in the world of exchange-traded funds, and now there is a new competitor in the high-yield corporate bond ETF arena. The Deutsche X-trackers USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (NYSE: HYLB) debuted on Wednesday. How...
MarketWatch  Dec 8  Comment 
The European Central Bank will begin to taper the amount of monthly bond purchases it makes starting in April 2017, policy makers said Thursday. The central bank said it will buy €60 billion in bonds each month until the end of December 2017,...
SeekingAlpha  Dec 8  Comment 
MarketWatch  Dec 8  Comment 
European stocks close at an 11-month high Thursday after the European Central Bank says it will continue to buy government bonds through next year, but at a lower amount each month starting in April.
Financial Times  Dec 8  Comment 
Wall Street climbs to fresh record highs


A bond is a type of debt. It's a loan from an investor to an institution, and in exchange the investor collects a predetermined interest rate. When a company needs capital to expand its business, it issues bonds to the public. Investors buy them with the understanding that they will collect the original principal plus interest when the bond matures at a set date. Federal, state, and municipal governments issue bonds for a similar purpose, to raise money for projects and public programs.

Types of Bonds

Bonds or Stocks?

Making the choice between stocks and bonds can be complex. In general, though, the key consideration is your own planning horizon.

Bonds are, in general, more predictable than stocks, and (on average and in general) give you lower returns. If you believe you'll need predictable access to money over, say, a 20-year period, you may be better off with bonds. For example, if you want to put aside a specific amount of money for a grandchild, expecting that money to be available for college in eighteen years, and not expecting to have other capital available. Insurance companies invest heavily in bonds for just this reason: it matches predictable liabilities (future insurance claims) against predictable cash flows (principal and interest).

Some bonds have tax advantages; for example, municipal bonds are typically exempt from state taxes in the state that issued them, as well as federal taxes. This can make them more attractive, though often you will find that the market has arbitraged away the difference, and that corporate (that is, taxable) bonds carry a higher gross yield -- and the same net yield after taxes. Although many investors invest in munis for just this reason -- they "don't like the taxman" -- they may not be making the optimum investment choice.

Bonds are not riskless, however. They carry credit risk ("will I get my money back?"), prepayment risk, liquidity risk and interest-rate risk. Many bonds give the bond issuer the right to repay the bond early -- which happens more often when rates are low, in other words, just when you don't want your money back. This is prepayment risk. Liquidity risk is the risk that you won't find a good price for your bond when you want to sell it -- because there are so many more bond issuers than stock issuers, and because bonds are not exchange-traded, there may not be a willing buyer. Interest-rate risk is the opposite of prepayment risk: when rates go up, the value of your bond will drop (it drops more, the further away it is from maturity). If your circumstances change and you need to sell the bond before maturity, you can lose capital that you would otherwise receive, if you held the bond to maturity.

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A how to on investing in bonds

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