No. of Recommendations: 9
I would appreciate your perspective on why you think it’s a particularly tough market for an individual investor.

There isn't 'one' bond market (like the NYSE or NASDAQ) but rather each broker has their own bond desk. You are limited to the bonds that your broker has available, or, if you insist, they can go buy them from some other broker, and you will probably end up paying for 2 spreads - 1 for each desk. Speaking of spreads, they are huge compared to spreads on stocks. When buying individual bonds, you also have a higher risk of defaults, especially when buying 6 or 7 years out. 6 or 7 years ago, what was GE's credit rating vs. where it is now?

If you are planning on holding to maturity in a specific year, I would also suggest looking at target date bond ETFs. I own the 'iBonds' offered by iShares, because at the time, they had a lower expense ratio than the Bulletshares target date ETFs (used to be offered by Guggenheim, but I think they were bought out by Capital American?). Currently, I think that the expense ratios are the same, and it's a relatively low 0.10%/year - which is probably lower than the spreads you will pay buying individual bonds each year.

AJ
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