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"For all practical purposes, bonds can't be traded."

This is no longer correct. The trust preferred issues or ABSs (asset backed securities) listed every day in the Wall Street Journal preferred stock list are in fact long bonds. They can be bought and sold at discount broker commissions. Most are traded NYSE, some are AMEX. You can get daily quotes, know the market price, and trade them as actively as you want.

The one caveat is that many are thinly traded. Often you are trading against a specialist/market maker. But using limit orders you can usually trade at market prices if you are patient--especially in the 100 to 1000 share range.
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