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Author: imcharliehm Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 35367  
Subject: Re: Understanding Mark Ups Date: 10/6/2002 8:57 PM
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Whoa, opentolearn. Don't go quitting us before you've even gotten started. Or if you do want to quit already, you need to change your handle.

Bonds ARE easier than stocks. Certainly they are easier to spell, for being only five letters long instead of six. :-/

Seriously. Bonds CAN BE easy, just as stocks can be easy. Using Treasury Direct is about as simple as investments can get. But playing corporates in the secondary market is probably comparable to playing the pennies, which I would have to assume you would agree isn't easy, but they are stocks, just as much as the big cap stuff that are the media darlings.

And by stocks do you mean closing your eyes, throwing a dart, and then holding forever, or do you mean grinding through the 10Q's/10K's and winnowing industry sub-sector after industry sub-sector to find something decent you would like to own? Or do you mean sitting in front of a multi-monitor display, your trading platform running on one screen, the SOOZ in another window, 1 and 5 minute charts in other windows?

What you should be saying and realizing is that right now bonds aren't easy because of where we are in the interest rate cycle, just as stocks aren't easy because of the unwinding of the speculative bubble and the uncertainites over Bush's war. But now is also a good time to start learning the bond market from the sidelines, so that when things do get easy again, as they will, you'll be ready to participate knowlegibly and profitably.

Lastly, I would make a huge distiction bewteen "easy" and "fun". If it's easy you want, then there's probably no money in it, no matter the asset class. But if doing it ain't fun -- whether that "it" be investing , trading, or speculating --then it's also probably not worth doing at all. A lot of the people who hang out here invest in bonds because they have to. But a lot of us invest in them because we find the asset class and the investing challenges interesting.

That's the challenge you should put to yourself: Are bonds an asset class you want to learn? If the desire is there, so will become the means.

Charlie
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