No. of Recommendations: 1
As crazy as this sounds, I have found there are huge differences in the big brokerage folks with regard to markets in individual bonds. Within a week's period I checked out Fidelity, Schwab and Vangard. I found more often then not only one of these people made a market in specific bonds from companies such as Coca-Cola, Bellsouth, General Motors, etc. Don't just assume because a bond maturing in 20 years is covered, that one maturing in 10 years will be. Check out each individual bond.

My reasons for checking were for purposes of purchasing. Since yours are for purposes of selling, as others have said, if the broker you choose does not make a market in that bond you will take significant hit. I have two suggestions #1 consider staying where the bonds are now (I am assuming that is were the bonds were bought) at least until you determine the lowest price place to sell all the bonds you want to sell. #2 Ask various brokerage firms for fees on liquidating what you have.

Keep in mind what is a large IRA to you may be small potatoes to the brokerage people. Find out at what size account the fees drop -- that is the size of account they really want. It varies, but I have found generally accounts under a $100K do not get good deals and generally total deposits over $1Million do. Some firms are firm on their fees, others will offer discounts for new accounts.

Also keep in mind most firms charge fees to close accounts and these are in addition to fees for transfer stocks and bonds out. These fees are listed in all the fine print.

Gordon
Atlanta
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