No. of Recommendations: 7
LF,

Investopedia is your friend. There is great deal that can be learned from those articles.

As Charlie pointed out the bond market is not an easy place right now to make money. It can be done but it helps to be a seasoned bond investor with a system already in place. The good news is now would be an excellent time to learn because there is no rush to jump in the market. Your not missing the boat.

If you have investing skills from other asset classes leverage those into your bond investing. If you know how to research stocks then you are 3/4 the way to researching bonds; you have the company stuff down you just need to figure out pricing and position sizing. I'm not a huge bond fund fan but if you have a good skill set for evaluating funds then you could leverage that into learning more about bonds and evaluating CEFs(which I think are a better form of funds for bond investing).

There is nothing wrong with paper trading for a while to experiment without any money actually on the line. This approach works for some and not for others.

As Charlie points out, just because the industry says we should start rolling more and more into bonds for every year after 50 does not mean that is actually good advice. The real game is conserving capital and not exposing retirement money that we will need soon to too much risk. Just because it is a bond does not mean its automatically less risky. It is counter to much canned advice but occasionally there is less risk in a basket of solid dividend paying stocks then in a bond market chock full of overpriced bonds.

Each individual responds to the many different kinds of risks we find in investing differently. Manage your risks in a way that you find both prudent and understandable.

The bond market is a fascinating market full of opportunities. Its not that hard to learn the basics and the lingo. It does take some practice and discipline to be a consistent winner. The same pitfalls exist here as in other markets. There is that odd desire to chase performance or to become overly aggressive trying to make up for mistakes.

Slow and steady wins the race

Good luck and feel free to ask any question that your bump into as you try to figure this thing out.

jack
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