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What a great thread for getting up to speed on bonds!!

Anyway, a thankfully small but not insignificant part of my IRA is with a broker. I know the joke, "that's why they call 'em 'brokers.'"

He convinced me to trade the very safe but dull government agencies for some Nextlink Com and Level 3, both of which are trading as if they will default.

Any ideas?

On the one hand, selling now probably is at the bottom. Even in default, they will likely get close to what they are trading for - last time I looked the Nextlinks (0% ouch) were trading at $14 down from adjusted accreted cost of $77. The Level 3's 9 1/8% were at $54 down from cost of $98.

On the other hand, should I cut my losses and, if so, into which vehicle would you recommend?

As I said, fortunately, the rest of my IRA (about 90%) is still in governments and money market, self-directed, boring but still there for me when I need it. As to that, I've been thinking of eventually going for investment grade corporate bonds, absolutely no techs, tobacco, retail, etc., except maybe CSCO, but I doubt it. I wouldn't do it now with rates and spreads so low/thin. I'm thinking of looking in about a year when I believe rates will start going up.

Thanks in advance.
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