No. of Recommendations: 4
Been curious about bonds for a long time, mostly just lurking here to pick up whatever pearls of wisdom I might find. 
I've never bought a bond, in no small part because it wasn't easy, as I didn't have a brokerage account at a broker that sold them- at least, so I thought. 
To my surprise I discovered yesterday that Wells Fargo Advisors actually carries searchable bond inventory (albeit the bonds need to be bought over the phone). 
So I decided to do my first "screen".

I decided to see what they had in the way of "investment grade corporates", going out in maturity to 9 years or so from today. 
I basically eyeballed these for the highest yields within a given maturity range (the 20 or so returned on one page) and went through the 350 or so the screen 
returned, looking for names I recognized. Anecdotally, most of the highest-yielding corporates I found were either financials, precious metal miners, or junior 
players in the oil and gas sector. I also noticed a qualitative "peak" in yields in bonds maturing within 5-7 years, with what seemed like lower YTMs for bonds 
longer than that, as has been mentioned here before.

Since ZionsDirect has gotten a lot of press here, I decided to doublecheck prices on ZD, to see how they compare. For the bonds I could find, they were always 
cheaper on ZD- but this doesn't include commissions. Here's the list of the bonds I liked, and their particulars. I've had to clip the issue description to 
make this legible:

CUSIP	   Mdy/S&P/Fitch    Issue Description	            Coupon	Mat.    Minimum	Price	Worst Yld	Yld Worst       ZD Price       ZD Yld Worst
743862AD6  Baa2/BBB/BBB	    Provident Cos Inc Sr Nt 7%18       7	7/15/18	1	116.238	Maturity        3.432				

055921AA8  Baa2/BBB+/-	    Bmc Software Inc Nt 7.25%18        7.25	6/1/18	2	108.051	Maturity	5.348		107.568		5.457

72447WAA7  Baa2/BBB/BBB-    Pitney Bowes Inc Glbl Mtns Be Call 4.75	5/15/18	1	105.152	Maturity	3.577   	104.683		3.681

06050WCF0  Baa2/A-/A	    Bank Amer Corp Sr Intnotes Be Fr   5.4	2/15/19	1	110.031	Maturity	3.409				

06050WBN4  Baa2/A-/A+	    Bank Amer Corp Sr Intnotes Be      6.75	8/15/19	1	115.445	Maturity	3.872		114.64		4.01

06739GBP3  Baa3/BBB/A-	    Barclays Bank Plc Conditional Call 5.14	10/14/20 100	103.307	Maturity	4.597		102.592		4.712

472319AH5  Baa3/BBB/BBB-    Jefferies Group Inc Make Whole     6.875	4/15/21	5	111.837	Maturity	5.01		110.998		5.134

054303BA9  Baa2/BBB-/BB+    Avon Prods Inc Make Whole Call     5	3/15/23	1	101.02	Maturity	4.865		100.322		4.957

Of these, I like the Jeffries bonds the best. Even though they are a financial, having been recently acquired by the Leucadia group, the Cumming and Steinberg 
endorsement is encouraging. I'd want to know more about BMC software as well. That said, the YTM on all of these isn't terribly appealing.

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