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Subject:  Re: Bonds & Fixed Income Investments: FAQS Date:  12/16/2009  11:55 PM
Author:  jackcrow Number:  29507 of 36398

the spirit of THIS post was the reason I came to the board.

IMHO, the spirit that created the FAQ is still here it was a group effort trying to flesh out a starting point. Many folks have passed through looking for answers or dialog, some have stayed. The spirit that still lurks here is the spirit of TMF days gone by, Fools helping Fools.

If you don't like my answer or Charlie's or anyone else' based on sound understandings of your system then skim and move on. If your question wasn't answered clearly or you feel that the conversation that followed left the path you want/need chime in and steer us blabber-keyboarders back on topic. We all have our blind spots and our stumping points, a friendly kick in the drawers will do most of us some good.

One issue we are stuck with is that bond investing hasn't, in the past, been as freely available nor has it had the same clarity into the process as stocks. There are few places to have intelligent conversations about the merits of one bond system over another. There are few places to have quality conversations about the merits of CD's v MMF's & MMA's v Muni's v commercial v junk. In truth there is more ground to cover on this one board than any other board hosted by TMF with the possible exception of the Macro Econ board.

The whole TMF site, like most others, is dedicated to the stock market and its variants: Funds, Indexing, stock picking, mechanical investing, charting, fundamentals . . . we few(maybe many??) have this one little corner in the investing chat universe to cover a financial topic that dwarfs the stock market by 10 fold. There at most 2 classes of "common equity stock" issued by most companies, that same company could have dozens of outstanding debt issues. Each "2nd issue" of stock act like all previous issues of the same shares, that isn't completely true of each issue of debt. CD's being offered by a boutique bank somewhere go on sale relative to the broad CD market, why? Do we need to know why? One doesn't ladder stocks and there are better ways to build a ladder of fixed income vehicles; one could mix and match types if it fit the individuals needs.

For decades upon decades Bonds have been the blue money, smart money, behind close doors, too complicated for the common Schmo to invest wisely in. Have you noticed that most sellers of bonds make you click and assent to the risks of bond investing above and beyond the general sellers warnings that markets can be risky, while the same is not required of stocks? The really funny thing about that practice is that on many sites you had to do it to buy US Treasury products, the same people that guarantee our savings. Prices and clarity are starting to drift in a direction favorable to the small investor. Because bonds have been kept behind the bond desk for so long we have very few outlets to chat about them.

Occasionally we step on each others feet on accident. Sometimes we feel like we need to shout to be heard. Sometimes we are absolutely sure our dialog partner isn't speaking the same language even though the text is written in English.

The original spirit of Fooldom was Fools teaching Fools. This only happens when Fools are willing to ask and dialog. Sometimes it take thick skin to dialog and sometimes blunt and opinionated is just blunt and opinionated. Every classroom has its own tenor and, it has the quiet smart ones, it has loud smart ones, it has loud interesting ones, and quiet interesting ones, it has those comfortable in their own skin, those uncomfortable and feeling like a hippy among rednecks. Some of us want to take the class, some of us have to take the class. Its all here and we have this huge topic to wrestle with.

For anyone who comes to this board seeking information and/or advice once you ask the question you become at least partially responsible for keeping this gang of hooligans on topic. You don't need to brake out the yardstick and patrol the aisles but you do need to keep herding the cats or we will chase strings, nap, eat or poop inside.

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