When you’re shopping for bonds, never fail to check the order book, which is the queue of bids and asks and their various prices and sizes. Just now, I took one of two bonds offered at 103.825 (1-min). Whereupon, E*Trade reset the quote line to read 104.438 (min-10). However, it could be seen from checking the order book that a single was still available at 103.825. Also, onerous min-purchase requirements can often be bypassed by checking the order book, and often enough, smaller quantities are priced the same or not prohibitive higher. Also, also, never fail to check what the spread is, and never fail to check T&S. Far more often that should be happening, bonds are offered at sucker prices. Some scared seller somewhere has dumped a small lot. Some shrewd desk somewhere has picked it up and has then offered it back out, but at a ridiculously high markup. If you wait ‘em out, generally the price will come down to a more realistic level.
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