Bonds Sitemap - Page 1 2016-09-26

2014 Bond Market Outlook
An easy-to-understand guide to the 2014 bond market outlook, with expert opinions and a summary of the factors likely to impact bond returns in 2014.

The Difference Between Deflation and Disinflation
Deflation vs. disinflation: the difference between the two, and what each means for the economy and financial market performance.

2013 Bond Market Performance: The Year in Review
2013 Bond Market Performance Review: A comprehensive summary of 2013 bond market returns including key events and performance drivers for each sector.

When Should I Invest in a Money Market Fund?
Money market funds are a popular and safe place for investors to keep cash for the short term. These investment vehicles offer both security and liquidity. But the relatively poor returns offered by this class of mutual funds make them ill-suited for long-term investment.

Understanding Dangers in Bond Investing
Bonds are among the safest investments in the world. But no investment is entirely risk-free​.

Historical U.S. Treasury Yield Charts
U.S. Treasury Yields rise and fall in response to demand, supply, general economic conditions, monetary policy and, importantly, inflation.

Explanation of a Fiscal Cliff
Defining the US economy term

The Impact of Inflation on Bonds
An easy-to-read explanation of how inflation affects bond return, a related Fed policy, and the difference between real and nominal returns.

What Is the European Debt Crisis?
The European debt crisis is the shorthand term for the region's struggle to pay its debts. Here is a Q&A to help familiarize you with the basics of, and outlook for, the European debt crisis.

What are REITs, and How Risky Are They?
Learn about real estate investment trusts, or REITs, their historical risks and returns. Are they a good addition to your investment portfolio?

What is the Discount Rate?
How the Federal Reserve's discount rate works, the discount rate's impact on the economy and how the discount rate differs from the fed funds rate.

Bond Basics: Issue Size & Date, Maturity Value, Coupon
Learn basic bond definitions: what are issue size, issue date, maturity value, coupon, and yield to maturity.

The Difference Between Stocks and Bonds
Investors are always told to diversify their portfolios between stocks and bonds, but what’s the difference between the two types of investments? Here, we look at the difference between stocks and bonds on the most fundamental level.

Why Bond Prices and Yields Move in Opposite Directions
Get the plain-English explanation of why bond prices and yields move in opposite directions. Why do bond prices rise when yields fall, and vice versa?

What Are Leveraged Bond Funds?
Find out how leveraged bond funds work and whether these products are right for you. They multiply your gains, but also multiply your losses.

The Difference Between Yield to Call and Yield to Worst
Learn the difference between a bond's yield to call, yield to worst and yield to maturity and how to know which yield to use when evaluating a bond.

What Are Local Currency Emerging Market Bonds?
Investors in emerging market bonds can buy dollar-denominated bonds or bonds denominated in local currencies. Understand the advantages of each.

What Is the Debt Ceiling?
A simple explanation of the debt ceiling debate and crisis: Find out how the debt ceiling works, and how the debate could impact financial market performance.

Premium vs Discount Bonds (Definition and Explanation)
The basics of premium bonds and discount bonds: why discount bond aren't necessarily a good value and why premium bonds may be preferable.

Fed Tapering and Its Impact on the Markets
A definition of Fed tapering. Find out why the U.S. Federal Reserve is tapering its quantitative easing (QE) policy, what

When is the Best Time to Buy High Yield Bonds?
What circumstances regarding the economy, investor sentiment, and corporations' financial health typically fuel the best returns for high yield bonds?

Agency vs Non-Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS)
Definition of non-Agency mortgage-backed securities. What is the difference between agency and non-Agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS)?

What is a Covered Bond? Are They Safe?
The newest addition to the U.S. bond market is similar to the asset-backed securities that led to the credit crisis, but supposed to be much safer.

Steepening and Flattening Yield Curve - Definition
Steepening and flattening yield curves explained and the causes of both. Can you profit from an understanding of the direction of yield curves?

What Are Green Bonds and Green Bond Funds?
Green Bond Primer: What are green bonds, who issues them, and how can individuals invest in these new securities? With bond and bond fund examples.

Calculating Tax Equivalent Yield - Municipal Bonds
Knowing how to calculate the tax equivalent yield on municipal bonds is a key element of determining whether munis or taxable bonds are right for you.

The Basics of Investing in High Yield Bonds
Learn about the risks and historical performance of high yield bonds, their role in your portfolio, and the various ways to invest in high yield bonds.

Are High Yield Municipal Bonds Right for You?
High yield municipal bonds offer higher income than investment-grade muni bonds, but they also feature greater risks.

What Are the Risks of Senior Loans?
Senior loans offer bond portfolio diversification and attractive yields, but also a unique set of risks. Are senior loans right for you?

Short Term Bond Funds: The Pros and Cons
Short-term bond funds for beginners: learn the basics, yields, and historical returns, risks and ways to invest via mutual funds and ETFs.

Choosing Short, Intermediate, or Long-Term Bond Funds
The differences between short-term, intermediate-term, and long-term bond funds: risks, returns, and determining what mix is right for you.

Individual Bonds Vs. Bond Funds
Bond funds aren't entirely risk-free. What are the risks of bond funds, and how does this risk compare to that of investing in individual bonds? Learn more to help you make the decision of whether to invest in individual bonds or bond funds.

Lowest Risk Bonds: What Types of Bonds Are the Safest?
Investors who need to keep their money safe have a wealth of options to consider in the world of bonds and bond and mutual funds. Learn about some of the lowest-risk options in bonds, and whether low-risk bonds are right for you.

Types of Bonds for Fixed Income Investors
Learn about different types of bonds, from low-risk options such as savings bonds to higher-risk investments such as high-yield and emerging market bonds.

What Was the Fed's Operation Twist?
Operation Twist was conducted by the U.S. Federal Reserve to help stimulate the economy. Learn more about the Operation Twist and its impact.

Knowing When to Sell a Bond Fund
When is the appropriate time to sell a bond fund? Here are five signs that it's time to sell your bond fund and move on.

TIPS - Treasury Inflation Protected Securities Work
Find out how TIPS pay interest, the mechanices of TIPS' principal adjustment, and the potential risks of investing in TIPS.

The Monthly Jobs Report & Its Impact on the Bond Market
Find out why bond yields are so sensitive to the U.S. Labor Department's monthly jobs report, and what it means for your investments.

What are Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS)?
Learn about the risks and historical performance of mortgage-backed securities, their role in your portfolio, and the various ways to invest in mortgage-backed securities (MBS).

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What Is the Flight to Quality in Bonds?
What is the flight to quality, and how can you profit when it takes place? Why U.S. Treasuries prices fall and yields climb in troubled times.

The Risks of Municipal Bonds
What are the risks of municipal bonds? Learn more about the risks of municipal bonds, and the difference between the risk of individual munis compared to mutual funds and ETFs.

The Returns of Short, Intermediate, and Long Term Bonds
The historical performance numbers for short-, intermediate- and long-term bonds. Which category is poised for the best returns in the coming years?

Should You Invest in Hedged High Yield Bond ETFs?
Hedged high yield bonds ETFs sound good on paper, but there are many reasons why a hedged approach is an inefficient way to invest in high yield bonds.

Municipal Bonds: Historical Calendar Year Returns
Municipal Bond Calendar Year Returns: the year-by-year returns for municipal bonds, with historical context and performance vs. the Barclays Aggregate.

Zero-Coupon Bonds
Zero-coupon bonds make no periodic interest payments. Interest is paid only at maturity. Consequently, zeros have unique strengths and weaknesses.

How to Buy a Corporate Bond
Buying individual corporate bonds is a complex endeavor. It takes more sophistication and more research than buying a share of stock. Here are some of the key things to consider.

Collateralized Debt Obligations and the Credit Crisis
Somewhere in early 2007, one of the more complex and controversial corners of the bond world began to unravel. By March of that year, losses in the collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) market were spreading -- crushing high-risk hedge funds and spreading fear through the fixed-income world. The credit crisis had begun.

Bond Trader: Buying and Selling Bonds for a Living
Careers in bond trading can be enormously rewarding from a financial perspective. Competition for these jobs at the giant investment banks and other financial institutions is fierce. And the markets modernize, the floor traders of old are being replaced by a new breed of trader skilled in math and computer programming.

Types of Government Bonds - Bills, Notes, Bonds
Find out the differences amongst the three types of U.S. government bonds: Treasury bills, notes, and bonds.

Treasury Direct: Easiest Way to Invest in U.S. Bonds
TreasuryDirect is one of the best resources for investors who want to purchase U.S. government bonds, or who simply want to learn more about how the government manages its debt. Find out more about how TreasuryDirect can help you manage your bond investments.

Impact of Currency Movement on International Bond Funds
Strength or weakness in the U.S. dollar can have a major impact on the performance of global and international mutual funds. Learn how currency movements can help or hurt the value of your international investments.

Bonds: Yield Spread, Definition and Description
The yield spread is a key metric that bond investors can use to gauge how expensive or cheap a particular bond, or group of bonds, might be. Learn how understanding yield spreads can help you make better investment decisions.

The Risks of Corporate Bonds
Learn more about the risks of corporate bonds, and the difference between the risk of individual corporate bonds versus corporate bond funds and ETFs.

The Risks of High Yield Bonds
What are the risks of high yield bonds? Learn more about the risks of high yield bonds, and the difference between the risk of individual high yield bonds compared to high yield bond funds and ETFs.

High Yield Bonds Total Returns by Calendar Year
Historical performance for high yield bonds: find out the year-by-year total returns for high yield bonds vs. both stocks and investment-grade bonds.

Credit Risk vs. Interest Rate Risk
Learn how interest rate risk and credit risk affects your bond investments and which bond types are more susceptible to each of these two risks.

The Risks of TIPS and TIPS ETFs
Individual TIPS may be free of credit risk, but TIPS mutual funds and ETFs are highly vulnerable to rising interest rates. As a result, TIPS funds may not provide as much inflation protection as investors may expect.

Are U.S. Treasuries and Government Bonds Safe?
U.S. Treasuries and government bonds are generally considered one of the safest – if not the safest – investments in the global financial markets.

What Are Bond Credit Ratings?
Bond credit ratings provide a guide the strength of the issuer’s finances and its future prospects – and allow investors to gain a sense of how likely a bond is to default. Learn more about bond credit ratings, and what each credit tier – from AAA to D – can tell you about an individual bond.

2- to 10-year U.S. Treasury Yield Spread: 1976-Present
The long-term chart of the 2- to 10-Year Treasury yield spread, with historical context. How does today's 2- to 10-year spread compare to history?

Are Treasuries the Safest Investment?
U.S. treasuries are extremely low risk investments and are often called the safest investments. But they do pose other types risks you must consider.

Introduction to Emerging Market Bonds
Emerging market bonds can provide attractive long-term returns, but they also carry more risk than most segments of the bond market. Find out if investing in emerging market bonds is right for you.

The Highest Yielding Fixed Income Investments
Find out the six bond market segments provide income investors with the highest yields.

- By Category
An index of categories in the

Bond Funds Ranked 4- and 5-Stars by Morningstar
Morningstar rankings provide a good starting point for research into the best mutual funds. Here's a list of all bond mutual funds ranked 4-Star and 5-Star.

What Is an MLP, or Master Limited Partnership?
Master Limited Partnerships, or MLPs, are a potential source of attractive yields. Learn about the role MLPs can play in your portfolio.

Avoid Buying Mutual Funds Before Distribution Payments
Find out why buying a mutual fund in a taxable account shortly before it makes a capital gains or dividend distribution can cost you money.

Pros and Cons of Core Bond Funds
Core bond funds offer wide diversification and a full range of maturities. They may be an appropriate choice for a single bond fund investment.

Historical Chart: 10-Year Treasuries/ TIPS Yield Spread
10-Year Treasury / 10-Year TIPS yield spread historical chart: How the Treasury/TIPS spread has changed over time, with an explanation of its movements.

Why Are Yields on Short-Term Bonds So Low?
Yields on bonds have fallen to extremely low levels in recent years. Why are yields so low and how long will this low-interest situation continue?

Apple Stock vs. Apple Bonds: Which is the Better Buy?
Apple stock vs. Apple bonds: Apple's longer-term bonds offer higher yields than its stock, but AAPL stock may do better in the long term.

There's No Such Thing as a Bond Proxy
So-called

Actively Managed Bond ETFs: The Complete, Updated List
Actively managed bond ETFs, led by PIMCO Total Return ETF, are growing rapidly. See the list of all actively managed bond ETFs with symbols and fees.

Bond Upgrade and Downgrade Definition
Learn the basic definition of bond upgrades and downgrades, and what these changes to a bond credit rating may mean for bonds you hold.

How to Invest in Target Maturity Bond Funds
Target maturity bond funds can help investors bridge the gap between the diversification of bond funds and the greater certainty of bond ladders.

What Is Quantitative Easing?
A definition and explanation of the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing policy, and how quantitative easing affects the financial markets.

Are Long-Term Bond Funds Right for You?
Long-term bond funds can deliver outstanding returns when interest rates are falling, but they also carry outsized risk. Learn more about long-term bond funds.

What is the Yield Curve?
what the yield curve is with respect to bond performance, and what yield curve shapes help us understand about many other economic factors

The Bond Market Bubble: Fact or Fiction?
Is there a bond bubble? Find out what the bond bubble is and what would a bursting bubble might mean for your portfolio.

What is Reinvestment Risk?
Reinvestment risk is the risk that future cash flows may have to be reinvested in lower-yielding securities. Lessening this risk is difficult.

Second Quarter 2014 Bond Market Performance Overview
Second Quarter 2014 Bond Market Returns: see performance data, key events, drivers of outperformance for corporate and high yield bonds, plus a second half outlook.

What is the Default Rate In Bonds?
Learn about default rate, how likely bonds in certain categories are to default, and how investors can minimize their exposure to default risk.

The Difference Between Fiscal and Monetary Policy
How do fiscal policy and monetary policy differ, and what impact can they have on your investments?

The Basics of Investing in Dividend-Paying Stocks
High-dividend stocks are one of the most popular option for those who need investment income but who don't want to invest their entire portfolio in bonds. Find out more about the best strategies for investing in dividend-paying stocks.

Secured vs Unsecured Bonds - Definition
Bonds can be either secured or unsecured. See the definition, differences, and risk and yield characteristics of these two types of bonds.

Opportunity Cost And Your Investments
Opportunity costs may be invisible, but they are a real consideration when making investment decisions. Learn four ways to avoid opportunity cost.

Should You Reinvest the Income from Your Bond Funds?
Putting the power of compounding to work: the key to long-term wealth accumulation lies in the reinvestment of the income from your investments.

Stocks and Bonds, Calendar Year Performance
Year-by-year return data: the annual total return for stocks and bonds in each calendar year from 1980. Which delivered better performance?

Explanation of a Bond Default
One of the most well-known risks associated with bonds is the risk of bond default. Learn what a bond default is and how it impacts investors.

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Top Things to Know About Bonds
Bond investing can be filled with unusual lingo, strange concepts and a lot more talk about math and economics.

What is the U.S. Federal Reserve Dot Plot?
A simple explanation of the Fed dot plot and how it affects the markets. The dot plot provides insight into Fed policy, but it can also be misleading.

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Distribution Yield vs. SEC Yield: Which Should You Use?
An easy-to-understand explanation of the difference between a distribution yield and an SEC yield. Which yield calculation should you use?

Introduction to Municipal Bonds
Muncipal Bonds 101: The basics of municipal bonds, risks and returns, determining whether munis are right for you, types of bonds, and how to invest.

The Muni-Treasury Ratio: Definition and Explanation
Find out what the muni-Treasury ratio is, how it's calculated, and how it can help municipal bond investors hone their strategy.

Bonds: Bullet Strategy Definition
What is a bullet strategy in bond investing? Find out the definition of bullet strategy, and how it compares to the laddering and barbell strategies.

What Is Currency Hedging, in the Context of Bond Funds?
Understand currency hedging, how many managers employ currency hedging strategies, and how hedging can affect the performance of bond funds.

What Is a Floating Rate Bond?
Take a look at bonds with adjusting yields that change in prevailing interest rates; their benefits and pitfalls; and the best way to invest in them.

What Are Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities (CMBS)?
Learn how commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) work, and how individual investors can participate in this growing market segment.

What Causes TIPS to Have Negative Yields?
Find out why TIPS yields are negative, what this tells us about the economy, and why investors continue to buy TIPS with negative yields.

Bonds - What are Asset Backed Securities (ABS)?
What You Need to Know About Asset backed securities, or ABS: their risks, return characteristics and history, and if they belong in your portfolio.

How Does Duration Impact Bond Funds?
Duration is a term often used in assessments of mutual funds. But what is duration, and how does duration affect the performance of your bond fund?

What is Real Return and Real Yield?
Learn the meanings of real return, nominal return, and real yield, and how understanding these concepts can help you make better investment decisions.

The Difference Between Bond Yield and Total Return
A bond fund's yield is not the same as its total return. Learn the difference between them and which measure represents your actual gain or loss.

How to Use TIPS to Calculate Inflation Expectations
Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) can be used to calculate theoretical inflation expectations. Here is the formula and how to use it.

General Obligation Bonds and Revenue Bonds
Two major municipal bond categories include general obligation bonds and revenue bonds. Here is a concise explanation of the difference between them.

2013 Outlook: Corporate and High Yield Bonds
The 2013 outlook for investment grade corporate and high yield bonds remains cautiously positive. While yields are below their historical averages, a number of factors continue to support the outlook for both groups. Find out what investors should expect from corporate bonds and high yield bonds in the coming year.

Getting Started in Bonds, Part 2: Assessing Your Risk Tolerance
One of the most important steps for novice investors is accurately gauging your risk tolerance. This guide will help you determine that level of risk that's appropriate for you.

Will the Bond Market Crash? Don't Bet on it.
Is a bond market crash in the cards? While an era of lower returns may be upon us, there are six reasons why a market crash is unlikely.

Will Short-Term Bond Funds Lose Value When the Fed Begins Raising Rates?
When the Fed raised short-term interest rates in 1994, short-term bond funds plunged. Could history repeat itself once the Fed starts raising rates?

What to Own – and What to Avoid – in a Bond Bear Market
Six investments to consider - and three to avoid - for a bond bear market.

What is a Barbell Strategy?
Find out what a barbell strategy is, along with the risks and benefits of using a barbell approach to bond investing.

The Importance of Dividends: The Critical Role of Dividends in Stocks' Long-Term Total Return
Dividend-paying stocks offer more than just income – if dividends are reinvested, they represent a substantial portion of stocks’ long-term total return. Find out how much of stocks' total return is generated by dividends, and whether high-dividend stocks are right for you.

Bond ETFs vs. Bond Mutual Funds - Returns and Costs
What's the best way to invest in bonds, mutual funds or ETFs? Learn the cost and return difference between bond mutual funds and bond ETFs.

Inverse Bond Funds: The Risks and Benefits
Inverse bond funds can be an effective short-term vehicle for sophisticated investors to bet against the bond market. However, inverse bond funds also come with substantial risks.

How are Bond Funds Taxed?
Find out how the taxes on mutual funds' dividend income and capital gains differ, and why you have to pay a final capital gains tax when you sell a fund, even though you have been paying a capital gains tax each year.

How to Choose the Right Municipal Bond Fund
If taxes are a concern, but you don't have at least $100,000 to invest, you should consider buying a municipal bond fund. These mutual funds offer the same tax-free advantages of municipal bonds while also offering diversification.

List of Vanguard Bond Funds and ETFs
Are Vanguard bond funds right for you? See the list of all Vanguard bond funds and ETFs, along with tickers, expense ratios, and Morningstar ratings.

How to Protect Against Rising Rates
With the likelihood rising that bond yields will move higher in the years ahead, here are six ways to protect your portfolio from rising rates.

Bond ETFs: The Complete, Updated List
The complete, updated list of bond exchange-traded funds (ETFs), sorted by category.

Active vs. Passive Management in Bond Funds
Actively managed vs. passively managed bond funds: the key differences between active and passive management, and which has delivered better returns.

The Basics of Investing in Corporate Bonds
Learn about the risks and historical performance of corporate bonds, their role in your portfolio, and the various ways to invest in corporate bonds.

Understanding the Performance of Corporate Bonds
How do interest rates, the health of issuing corporations, and investors' attitude toward risk work together to affect the returns of corporate bonds?

Before You Invest in a Bond Mutual Fund
Bonds are among the safest investments available. And as a general rule, mutual funds are the safest way to invest in bonds. But that doesn't mean you should jump right in. Here are a few items to consider before you buy a bond fund.

Why Invest in Bonds?
There are many benefits to investing in bonds, including income, diversification, principal protection, and potential tax savings. How can bonds help you achieve your goals?

How to Invest in Utility Stocks
Those who are looking for ways to generate investment income through dividends often allocate a portion of their portfolios to utility stocks. Find out the performance characteristics and risks associated with investing in utilities.

What Happens to Bonds in a Stock Bear Market?
Find out which types of bonds provide helpful diversification when stocks are in a bear market, and which are most likely to underperfom.

U.S. Companies Rated AAA, Higher Than Government Bonds
The highest credit rating, AAA, is typically reserved for government bonds, but threer U.S. corporations are also assigned this gold standard of good credit: Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, and Exxon Mobil. Learn more about the Big 3 of AAA-rated U.S. corporations, and why they're rated more highly than U.S. Treasuries.

The Benefits and Risks of Bond Index Funds
Bond index funds are a simple and cost-effective way to invest in bonds. Learn about the key benefits and risks of bond index funds

What Are Convertible Bonds? - the Basics
Convertible bonds are bonds that are issued by corporations and that can be converted to shares of the issuing company's stock at the bondholder's discretion. Convertible bonds typically offer higher yields than common stock, but lower yields than straight corporate bonds. Learn more about the basics of convertible bonds.

How to Bet Against the Bond Market
With all the talk of a bond market

How Do Changes in Economic Growth Affect Bonds?
Economic trends are a key driver of bond market performance, but the economy affects different types of bonds in different ways. Learn more about the link between bonds and the economy.

Should You Own Bonds in an IRA?
Bonds may not seem to be the natural choice for an IRA, but they play a key role in retirement planning. What types of bonds are the best fit for IRAs?

Short Term Bonds Funds vs. Money Market Funds
Learn how to determine which investment is more appropriate for your objectives: short-term bond funds or money market funds.

Stocks vs. Bonds: The Long-Term Performance Data
Find out how bond market performance compares to stocks in the past ten years, and learn which segments of the bond market provided the best returns. The historical bond market performance data tells an interesting story about the importance of bonds in portfolio diversification.

The Difference Between Coupon and Yield to Maturity
One of the most important things for bond investors to understand is the difference between coupon and yield. Coupon tells you what the bond paid when it was issued, but the yield to maturity tells you how much you will be paid in the future.

Investing in U.S. Savings Bonds
Savings bonds are one of the most popular ways for individuals to invest in bonds. Learn about the different types of bonds, how to buy them, and if they're right for you.

U.S. Government and Agency Bonds: Investing in Federal Government Bonds
Learn how to invest in government and agency securities, including U.S. Savings Bonds, Treasuries (bonds, notes, bills and TIPS) and the debt of government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) and agencies.

Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Funds: BND and VBMFX
The Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Funds - BND and VBMFX - aren't

Actively Managed Bond Funds: Short-Term Underperformance, Longer-Term Strength
How the performance of actively managed bond funds stacks up against their benchmarks over time. Active management can pay off, but you need to be patient.

Understanding the Risks and Rewards of Callable Bonds
Some bonds have an unusual feature that allows the issuer to

Can Bonds Predict the Direction of the Economy?
How can investors use the bond market and the yield curve as an indicator of future economic conditions?

Deciding if You Should Buy Municipal (Muni) Bonds
For many investors, the idea of earning tax-free returns makes the purchase of a muni bond seem like a no-brainer. But munis aren't for everyone. Unless you're in the right tax bracket, owning a muni can be a very bad move. So let's answer the question: Should you buy municipal bonds?

Should I Invest in Unit Investment Trusts?
How to know if it is a good idea to invest in Unit Investment Trusts, and how to know if it is better to invest in a UIT or a mutual fund.

What is the Federal Funds Rate?
The federal funds rate – typically referred to as the fed funds rate – is the rate at which banks with balances on held at the Federal Reserve borrow from one another an overnight basis. How does the federal funds rate work, and what is its impact on the economy?

How Much U.S. Debt Does China Own? - Bonds
China owns a large, and growing, percentage of the United States' debt. How large is China's position in U.S. Treasuries, and does it matter?

What Is the Debt to GDP Ratio?
Learn what the debt-to-GDP ratio is, why a manageable ratio is essential, and how the debt-to-GDP ratio can affect bond yields.

When is the Best Time to Buy Municipal Bonds?
Municipal bonds experience seasonality associated with changing supply-and-demand dynamics in the market, creating consistent monthly performance trends.

How to Invest in Double-Tax-Free Municipal Bond Funds
Municipal bonds: find out how double tax-free and triple tax-free municipal bonds funds can help you keep more of your money.

Buying Bonds: How to Purchase Fixed Income Investments
Buying individual bonds is considerably more complicated than buying individual shares of stock. You'll need to understand the difference between primary and secondary markets, the relationship between face value and yield to maturity, taxable vs. non-taxable returns and how to calculate total return.

Glossary of Bond Terminology
The bond world is full of hard-to-follow jargon. Here's where you'll find simple explanations of some of the more complex terminology. Learn the difference between EE Savings Bond and Aaa bond ratings. Understand the difference between MBIA and Moody's, swaps and strips.

Duration
Duration is a complicated mathematical calculation that measures the performance sensitivity of a bond, or bond fund, to movements in prevailing interest rates. This calculation, which measures the weighted average of the payment a bond investor can expect over time, incorporates both the interest payments and the final repayment of principal. A bond with a higher duration can be expected to rise or fall more than the overall bond market, while a bond with a lower duration can be expected to rise or fall less than the overall market.

What is a Bond Index Fund? Why Choose a Bond Index Fund?
Bond index funds are the simplest and most cost-effective way to invest in bonds. With extensive diversification, low fees, and an approach that’s easily understood by the average investor, bond index funds may well be the best option for those who are seeking to earn investment income.