No. of Recommendations: 1
After a delightful two weeks of vacation and being totally disconnected from phones, computers, and the financial world, I went back to work yesterday, running my bond scans, which turned up nothing worth a further look. So I assumed that today would be the same. Predictably, I was wrong, and a new holding is now in my account, which suggests this lesson:“If you don’t have a line in the water, you’re not going to catch fish.” The opportunities for real returns (after taxes and inflation) aren’t many in today's bond market. But a few are still there are if you go looking for them. And because conditions and opportunities are constantly changing, the shopping really does have to be done daily, which doesn't mean that a lot of time is required, especially once a searching plan has been created.

So that's the key. You've gotta know what you're looking for and what prices you're willing to pay, which isn't much different than fishing a small creek. Two casts to a feeding lane and then move to the next one, so you cover the water. The fish are there, or they aren't. Bond shopping is the same. Take at quick look at the action in the various credit tranches. If something seems attractive, dig deeper. Otherwise, you're done until tomorrow. But there will always be a tomorrow for you if you're trying to build (and then maintain) a fixed-income portfolio. Prices might be better, or they might be worse. But they need to be looked at every day, or else you're not covering the water, and you're going to miss a lot of fish that coulda/shoulda been caught.
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