What’s All the Fuss About Bonds Being a Lousy Investment?

Every time I’ve talked with someone about their investment portfolio recently, the subject of owning bonds or bond funds has inevitably come up.  Most of the time, the conversations about the fixed income (bond) portion of their accounts has been less than hopeful. And the cynicism/pessimism hasn’t been coming from me… Read more

When Enough is Enough

After my stepfather passed away, my mom started working with a local bank to manage her investments.  At the time, I was living in California and it was difficult for me to help her with investment decisions.  Plus, I had always warned my clients that allowing family members to get involved in your investments was a bad idea because you could always fire a stranger but you can never fire a member of the family.  It was with this in mind that I allowed her to continue this relationship despite my occupation as a financial planner. Read more

Will It Ever Come Back?

No, this isn’t an advice column for your love life that’s going to tell you, “If you love something, let it go.  If it comes back, blah blah blah…”  Nor is this the story of a man’s hairline, because clearly the answer there is NO!  This is my favorite story of 2011 mixed with a frequently asked question from my 1-on-1 sessions with employees of one of the companies I visit regularly. Read more

What Should I Consider for My Bond Funds if Interest Rates Rise?

A question I seem to be getting lately is how I can hedge my bond investments against a rise in interest rates.  For most investors, a diversified portfolio will hold either individual bonds or more often than not, bond mutual funds.  Where the dilemma exists is that in general when interest rates rise the current value of bonds goes down.  Now for those investors who hold individual bonds, as long as the bonds are held to their respective maturities the loss of value will be on paper only.  But what happens in a bond fund where there are many different bonds with different maturities?  Let’s take a look at what often happens: Read more

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