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The answer always depends on how old you are (are you close to retirement), what other assets you have (what % of total assets is the $50,000), and how risk averse you are.

In the absence of evidence to the contrary, I would classify any high yield bond fund as a junk bond fund. For most people, they are too risky for IRA investments.

Junk bonds have been around for about 20 years. They have crashed three times as I recall. They are potentially as volatile as the stock market, but they do not have the upside potential. For the most part the original junk bond funds are no longer around. So stocks are a better investment.

My personal opinion is you would be better off to buy junk bonds than a junk bond fund. But generally junk bonds are only for the diversified and the sophisticated. They should not be a major investment for you.
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