Wendy,Thanks, but don't give me too much credit. The FAQs were a group effort, yourself as one of the contributors.The FAQs are the most complete attempt to cover all options in the bonds/fixed-income universe of anywhere I am aware of, largely thanks to Paul's initial concept for this board. There are places that advocate what is available from banks, notably CDs, and places that push buying bonds or funds; but the real key is to know all options and their pros and cons, and to recognize that appropriate choices at any given time for any given person will vary—there is no one size fits all model.Unfortunately, when we put the FAQs together, we were not able to get anyone to write a straight-forward introduction to buying or trading individual bonds, so there was not section devoted to that topic, beyond some basics.The objective approach in the FAQs is that people need to be aware of what kind of return on savings and investments they need to meet their financial goals and that should determine choices. For some, goals can be met with the relatively low returns available from government guaranteed vehicles (insured CDs, TIPS, Treasuries) by focusing on saving a lot and spending little. Others cannot meet their financial goals this way and need to get higher returns, either through having stock assets and hoping for the best or through choosing bonds with higher default risks.Insisting that goals can only be met by jumping into higher default risks and pretending that these risks can be managed so they really aren't high is not being objective or helpful. Helping people who need higher returns strategize how to engage in buying bonds with higher default risks to manage risk/return would be very useful.
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