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Best Bonds To Buy For Retirement HOT!

Bonds make up the foundation of any successful retirement portfolio. These assets are debt-related instruments issued by governments and corporations that are looking to raise money. Think of them as the other side of the loan, where the "issuer" is the borrower and investors are collectively the lender.

best bonds to buy for retirement

Unfortunately, building a diversified portfolio of individual bonds can be a complicated and opaque process. But thankfully, bond funds have democratized access to fixed-income markets by allowing even small-time investors to put as little as $100 behind the big-ticket loans to the U.S. Treasury department and leading banks, manufacturers and tech companies.

Not all bond funds are the same, however, and while they are easy to buy, they are also easy for retirement investors to misunderstand. Here's a brief rundown of some of the top bond investments out there, including both mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, and what they have to offer:

The short answer is "not much." Both ETFs and mutual funds are diversified baskets of assets, meaning investors can own a single investment instead of building a complicated portfolio of 1,000 stocks or 1,000 bonds. Keep in mind that both types charge a small fee for that service.

The main difference is that for mutual funds, all buying and selling happens once per day at a fixed price, while ETFs are bought and sold across the entire trading day. ETFs also tend to be a bit cheaper thanks to their recordkeeping and tax efficiency, and they often allow you to buy in for as little as $30 whereas many mutual funds require a minimum of $3,000. But for retirement investors who have decent nest eggs, these differences are far less important than making sure your bond fund or ETF meets your personal investing strategy.

Though the tickers and vehicle differs slightly, the strategy is the same, with these funds offering exposure to a mammoth portfolio of more than 17,000 different "investment grade" bonds from U.S. government and corporate borrowers. This includes about 50% of assets in government bonds from the Department of the Treasury and others, about 25% in bonds from government-backed mortgage lenders like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and 25% in top-rated corporations such as Inc. (AMZN) and American Express Co. (AXP). It's not terribly sophisticated, but for investors who want a bit of the entire bond market, this fund is the way to go.

Of course, it's worth noting that in a changing interest rate environment it has been very challenging for many bond funds. That's because when rates go up, bond funds often lose value because the newer and higher-yielding assets are more attractive to investors than the older bonds these funds hold.

It's success is in part because the fund is very targeted, with a portfolio of less than 200 total bonds, and it runs at a much shorter "duration" than its peers. The strategy allows FCONX to buy into very short-term bond investments then roll them off quickly before they can decline or before newer debt issuances steal the spotlight.

Of course, there's a great big world of bond funds and ETFs out there. You don't have to buy everything with a total bond fund like Vanguard's, nor do you have to be super selective like the Fidelity fund. Whatever your personal tastes or risk tolerances are, there's sure to be an option that fits you and your retirement investing needs.

It's generally true that if you want higher yield, you have to take on a bit more risk. The Vanguard Long-Term Corporate Bond ETF is interesting because it offers a bigger payday by excluding rock-solid Treasury bonds. VCLT focuses on only "investment grade" debt from time-tested companies such as investment giant Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), beverage maker Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (BUD) and drugstore giant CVS Health Corp. (CVS). The current yield is 4.1%.

If you don't mind being a bit more aggressive with your investments, then "junk" bonds could be worth a look. These are debts that get low marks from credit rating agencies because of the risk of a borrower never paying back the full amount. The iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF invests only in these distressed debts, with more than 1,200 holdings, including some shakier corporations such as casino operator Caesars Entertainment Inc. (CZR) and satellite cable provider Dish Network Corp. (DISH). If the economy sours or a few borrowers default, you could be in for trouble with HYG. But the current yield is 5.1% in exchange for this riskier approach.

It's hard to talk about bond funds without acknowledging this iconic offering from Pimco that has long been seen as one of the leading bond funds in the world. The yield at Pimco Total Return Fund doesn't blow the doors off at 3.9%, but what this fund does provide is tactical and active management that's meant to keep you ahead of the curve. PTTAX has a mandate to go anywhere and everywhere for the best bonds, including international corporations and governments of all flavors. For instance, the current lineup of about 7,400 positions includes a smattering of emerging market debts and "junk" bonds.

The Vanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond ETF () invests mostly in high-quality investment-grade corporate bonds with the goal of providing current income with modest volatility. The fund maintains a dollar-weighted average maturity between one and five years.

The Fidelity Investment Grade Bond Fund () is an actively managed fund that seeks to provide a high level of current income. The fund typically invests at least 80 percent of its assets in all types of investment-grade bonds.

Stocks are the growth engine of a retiree's portfolio, as they were during their working years. They help a portfolio keep pace with the cost of living, which may be substantial over a retirement of maybe 30 or more years.

Perhaps half or more of their nest egg (depending on the investor) will likely be in bonds or bond funds, which serve as a general shock absorber when stocks tank; retirees may also use bonds as a source of cash to live on or to rebalance their portfolios when stocks fall, according to advisors.

This doesn't mean bonds are immune from losing money. In fact, 2021 was a rare year in which U.S. government bonds lost money. But bonds generally hold their ground or yield a slight gain when stocks fall, Benz said.

One general approach to bond investing is to allocate a third of the bond portfolio to each of three categories: U.S. Treasury bonds, corporate bonds and mortgage-backed securities, according to Charles Fitzgerald, CFP and principal at Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo.

But retirees are better off buying investment-grade bonds, which are issued by entities with a high credit rating, he said. For example, Standard & Poor's investment-grade ratings include AAA, AA, A, and BBB.

These funds are a one-stop shop that diversify across both stocks and bonds according to a pre-set allocation. (A retiree who wants a 50-50 stock-bond split would invest in a 50-50 balanced fund, which automatically rebalances holdings for investors.)

Target-date funds are similar; they pick a mix of stocks and bonds depending on an investor's envisioned retirement year. These funds generally change their asset allocation over time, becoming more conservative. Retirees should make sure the fund doesn't throttle back on stocks too much or deviate from their desired asset allocation throughout retirement if they use this approach.

Whether a bond investment is bad or good depends on the investor's financial goal and market conditions. If an investor wants a steady income stream, a Treasury bond might be a good choice. However, if interest rates are rising, purchasing a bond may not be a good choice since the fixed rate of interest might underperform the market in the future. Please remember, when you purchase a Treasury bond, the fixed rate of interest for that bond never changes, regardless of where market interest rates are trading.Also, investing in bonds and selling them in the secondary market before their maturity can lead to a loss similar to other investments such as equities. As a result, investors should be aware of the risk that they could lose money by purchasing and selling bonds before their maturities. If an investor needs the money in the next year or two, a Treasury bond, with its longer maturity date, might not be a good investment. "}},"@type": "Question","name": "Are Bond Funds a Good Investment?","acceptedAnswer": "@type": "Answer","text": "Bond funds can be a good investment since funds typically contain many types of bonds, which diversifies your risk of a bond defaulting. In other words, if a corporation experiences financial hardship and fails to repay its bond investors, those who hold the bond in a mutual fund would only have a small portion of their overall investment in that one bond. As a result, they would have less risk of financial loss than had they purchased the bond individually.However, investors should do their research to ensure that the bonds within the fund are the type of bonds that you want to buy. Sometimes funds can contain both corporate bonds and Treasury bonds, and some of those corporate bonds might be high-risk investments. As a result, it's important to research the holdings within a bond fund before investing.","@type": "Question","name": "Are Bonds a Good Investment in 2022?","acceptedAnswer": "@type": "Answer","text": "In 2022, the interest rates paid on bonds have been slowly rising because the Federal Reserve has begun raising the Federal reserve rate. If investors believe that interest rates are going to continue to rise in the next couple of years, they may opt to invest in bonds with short-term maturities if they are interested in higher yields. Alternatively, due to the inverse relationship between interest rates and bond prices, fixed security prices will continue to decline if the Federal Reserve continues to raise rates. Bonds are often sought after as a hedge against market volatility and equity uncertainty. As public equity markets remain turbulent throughout 2022, those seeking to minimize losses may find shelter with fixed securities. During prior periods of recession, bonds have recorded losses, yet those losses have not been as large as equity or alternative investments.There are several risk factors for investors to consider during 2022. As the Federal Reserve navigates scaling back monetary policy, equity markets are at higher risk for volatility. Alternatively, by not scaling back monetary policy fast enough, the Federal Reserve risks runaway or prolonged inflation. Both conditions have negative implications for bond markets in terms of pricing or future purchasing power.Treasury bonds, notes, and shorter-term Treasury bills are often purchased by investors for their safety. Whether purchasing a Treasury security is right for you depends largely on your risk tolerance, time horizon, and financial goals. Please consult a financial advisor or financial planner when considering whether to purchase any type of bond versus other investments.","@type": "Question","name": "Can You Lose Money Investing in Bonds?","acceptedAnswer": "@type": "Answer","text": "Yes, you can lose money when selling a bond before its maturity date since the selling price could be lower than the purchase price. Also, if an investor buys a corporate bond and the company goes into financial difficulty, the company may not repay all or part of the initial investment to bondholders. This default risk can increase when investors buy bonds from companies that are not financially sound or have little-to-no financial history. Although these bonds might offer higher yields, investors should be aware that higher yields typically translate to a higher degree of risk since investors demand a higher return to compensate for the added risk of default.","@type": "Question","name": "What Are the Best Bonds to Buy?","acceptedAnswer": "@type": "Answer","text": "Knowing the best bonds to buy largely depends on the investor's risk tolerance, time horizon, and long-term financial goals. Some investors might invest in bond funds, which contain a basket of debt instruments, such as exchange-traded funds. Investors who want safety and tax savings might opt for Treasury securities and municipal bonds, which are issued by local state governments. Corporate bonds can provide a higher return or yield, but the financial viability of the issuer should be considered."]}]}] Investing Stocks Bonds Fixed Income Mutual Funds ETFs Options 401(k) Roth IRA Fundamental Analysis Technical Analysis Markets View All Simulator Login / Portfolio Trade Research My Games Leaderboard Economy Government Policy Monetary Policy Fiscal Policy View All Personal Finance Financial Literacy Retirement Budgeting Saving Taxes Home Ownership View All News Markets Companies Earnings Economy Crypto Personal Finance Government View All Reviews Best Online Brokers Best Life Insurance Companies Best CD Rates Best Savings Accounts Best Personal Loans Best Credit Repair Companies Best Mortgage Rates Best Auto Loan Rates Best Credit Cards View All Academy Investing for Beginners Trading for Beginners Become a Day Trader Technical Analysis All Investing Courses All Trading Courses View All TradeSearchSearchPlease fill out this field.SearchSearchPlease fill out this field.InvestingInvesting Stocks Bonds Fixed Income Mutual Funds ETFs Options 401(k) Roth IRA Fundamental Analysis Technical Analysis Markets View All SimulatorSimulator Login / Portfolio Trade Research My Games Leaderboard EconomyEconomy Government Policy Monetary Policy Fiscal Policy View All Personal FinancePersonal Finance Financial Literacy Retirement Budgeting Saving Taxes Home Ownership View All NewsNews Markets Companies Earnings Economy Crypto Personal Finance Government View All ReviewsReviews Best Online Brokers Best Life Insurance Companies Best CD Rates Best Savings Accounts Best Personal Loans Best Credit Repair Companies Best Mortgage Rates Best Auto Loan Rates Best Credit Cards View All AcademyAcademy Investing for Beginners Trading for Beginners Become a Day Trader Technical Analysis All Investing Courses All Trading Courses View All Financial Terms Newsletter About Us Follow Us Facebook Instagram LinkedIn TikTok Twitter YouTube Table of ContentsExpandTable of ContentsWhat Are Treasury Bonds?Young InvestorsInvestors Near or in RetirementGovernment vs. Corporate BondsAdvantages of Treasury BondsDisadvantages of Treasury BondsInvesting in Bonds FAQsThe Bottom LineBondsTreasury BondsAre Treasury Bonds a Good Investment for Retirement?Some investors gain more from bonds than others 041b061a72


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