No. of Recommendations: 2
So my question is: Is this difference between individual bonds and bond mutual funds significant enough to warrant my attention?

Yes. I've been cautioning people about buying bond funds or ETFs for years. Bond rates are dangerously low right now and it isn't going to end well for the unwary. But, what do I know?

and how can an individual investor buy single bonds without paying huge premiums?

You don't unless you're buying US Treasuries through Treasuries Direct.

The individual investor is at an extreme disadvantage in the bond market. It doesn't work the way things do in the equities market. If you really want to get involved in bonds, then buy some books on the subject - hopefully books that aren't merely cheerleader's guides, if you get my meaning. Also, head for the Bonds & Fixed-Income board here on Fool and see the FAQ.

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