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I am trying to understand Bonds and find them very confusing. How do you know how much commission you pay, or is that not important? With stocks it's easy. Also do you recommend buying individual bonds from a discount broker such as E Trade or American Express, or go to a full scale brokerage like Merill Lynch which would have more of a selection. I was advised to go to the library and read Moodys to understand the tables so I could compare dates and yields, select a bond and specify the price I want to pay and then wait. I know I can buy Treasuries direct, but I'm really confused with the best way to buy other types of bonds.

Thank you for any information you can give me.
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