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Stas,

Much thanks for your kind words. I, too, have benefitted from this forum, both from what others have written and from having to think through a problem before I posted. (If I can explain it to someone else, I can explain it to myself. LOL)

Suggestion: I have no idea what your financial goals are or the means you have to achieve them. But if bonds interest you and you don't have an account at E*Trade, you need to open one, because their fixed-income search-engine is the easiest to use. They're not the best shop to execute through. (Fidelity or IB are better in terms of commish.) But they're decent and often enough the only desk holding a lot.

Secondly, if you're serious about bonds, then build a spreadsheet that will discount taxes and inflation and give you a means of comparing likely achieved yields. Where this comes in handy is dealing with 500 bonds at time and trying to find the few that might be worth digging into.

Lastly, always remember this. It's fun to brag about annualized returns, but you can't spend them at the grocery store or gas pump. Inflation is real. Taxes are real. Expenses can't be avoided, and some losses are inevitable. But on a risk-adjusted basis, bonds offer roughly the same return as equities, or else the arbs step into make it so. The downsides of the bond game are the obscene amounts of money it requires, the abusive spreads one suffers, and the paucity of technical and historical data, though that is improving.

Again, much thanks for your kind words.

Arindam
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