No. of Recommendations: 1

Rather than straw polls and popular opinion, do some research and make a rational decision based on fundamentals.

Specifically, get a hold of Bogle on Mutual Funds, the '94 edition, and read his Chapter Five: How to Select a Bond Mutual Fund. It's brief, but it's thoughtful, and he is good at tearing into components, constructing tables, considering taxes, expenses, etc., so that you come to understand the differences between the instruments. He knows mutual funds in and out, maybe better than anyone in the industry, and he knows to how to use them effectively in an investment program.

He's the guy --via his writings, archived at Vanguard-- whom you should be asking what to do, since that's where you're headed and those funds are his babies (at least indirectly).

Also, have you done something as obvious as getting a hold of the prosectuses and annual reports (going back 5 to 10 years) for your various choices, plus a couple you weren't considering, just for the sake of comparison, e.g., their long Treasury fund and their high yield fund? A lot can be learned from what the mangers say about what they did during a crisis, what they are currently doing, how they see the future and intend to position themselves. Past perforamance numbers aren't totally irrelevant, but what you really should be looking for from a fund manager, and what is most important, is a sense that you trust her or his judgment when markets get ugly or the unpredictable happens.

In a bull market, everyone is a genius. But when things get tough, you don't want a summer soldier managing your money.

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