Also forgot to mention: while Charlie's claims about the bond world being "dog-eat-dog" might be true for the world of high-yield or even some corporate bonds, there are few worries with government bonds or even high-grade corporates. Treasuries are very liquid, and there is little a broker can do to mark up their prices, either directly or indirectly through fees and commissions, since the broker knows the exact same bonds will be available everywhere else at a lower price. Alternatively, you can do your purchasing of treasuries directly from the government itself, cutting out the middleman completely. If you don't have experience with bond trading, it might be best to stick with higher-quality issues, to avoid the traps that Charlie has pointed out.
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