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Charlie:
The problem with most who post on the bond board is that they don’t read the basic investment literature. They believe what Wall Street and the mutual fund industry want them to believe, rather than do their own thinking. Thus, any criticism of their beliefs is regarded as a personal attack, and the board is hugely polarized between those whose do their own bond investing and those whose who never venture beyond the putative shelter of bond funds, CDs, and TIPS. Such is life.

True. I'm one of those who is VERY comfortable on the equity side of the portfolio but not so comfortable on the fixed income side of things.

Thus, I now use three indexed bond ETFs to diversify my fixed income portfolio which consists of 40% BND, 40% BWX, and 20% PCY. Before that, I simply used a 5 year CD ladder. And before that, when I was younger, I just used a MMF for fixed income since I only kept 6 months of living expenses in FI.

I've been investing for 26 years--since age 25. I even retired early for 11 years between 1995 to 2006. I'm back at work for the last 3.5 years but I want to early retire again as soon as I can.

Since I'm older (I'll be 52 later this year), I recognize the need for fixed income. So far, I'm very comfortable with 30% of my portfolio in the indexed bond ETFs. But if there's a way to get a better FI return for less risk, AND I can get diversification in non-US bonds, I'm willing to learn.

As stock prices climb and as I age, more and more of my port will be in fixed income---probably in the tune of 40 to 60% of port. So I have plenty of time to get up to speed on the fixed income side.

However, for those of us who are not so knowledegable about FI assets, there is no shame in using laddered CDs or cheap indexed bond funds or ETFs.
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