Corporate and High Yield Bonds
The Basics of Investing in Corporate Bonds
Learn about the risks and historical performance of corporate bonds, their role in your portfolio, and the various ways to invest in corporate bonds.
Understanding the Performance of Corporate Bonds
Three main factors influence the performance of corporate bonds: prevailing interest rates, the health of the issuing corporation, and investors' attitude toward risk. Find out how these factors work together to affect the returns of corporate bonds.
Using Bond Credit Ratings to Evaluate a Corporate Bond
A bond is a loan. So the first question to ask before you buy a bond is the same question you'd ask before you loaned money to your brother-in-law: "Will I get my money back?" In bonds, there's an entire industry dedicated to answering that question. Welcome to the world of Wall Street's credit-rating agencies.
The Risks of Corporate Bonds
Learn more about the risks of corporate bonds, and the difference between the risk of individual corporate bonds versus corporate bond funds and ETFs.
The Risks of High Yield Bonds
What are the risks of high yield bonds? Learn more about the risks of high yield bonds, and the difference between the risk of individual high yield bonds compared to high yield bond funds and ETFs.
How to Buy a Corporate Bond
Buying individual corporate bonds is a complex endeavor. It takes more sophistication and more research than buying a share of stock. Here's some of the key things to consider.
U.S. Companies Rated AAA – Higher than U.S. Government Bonds
The highest credit rating, AAA, is typically reserved for government bonds, but four U.S. corporations are also assigned this gold standard of good credit: Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Automatic Data Processing, and Exxon Mobil. Learn more about the “Big 4” of AAA-rated U.S. corporations, and why they're rated more highly than U.S. Treasuries.
Apple Bonds: What You Need to Know
The Basics of Apple's Bond Offering: Find out all the details of the largest offering in the history of corporate bonds, including its size, maturity dates, initial yields, credit rating, and the reason why Apple chose to issue bonds now.
The Basics of Investing in High Yield Bonds
Learn about the risks and historical performance of high yield bonds, their role in your portfolio, and the various ways to invest in high yield bonds.
Using High Yield Bonds for Diversification
Learn how high yield bonds can help you diversify your investment portfolio. While high yield bonds can diversify a portfolio that is tilted toward investment-grade bonds, they won't necessarily help you diversify away from stocks.
What are Fallen Angels?
Find out what a fallen angels are, how to invest in fallen angels, and whether the return potential is worth the risk in this segment of the high yield bond market.
What are Senior Bank Loans?
Senior loans, also referred to as leveraged loans or syndicated bank loans, are loans banks make to corporations and then packaged and sell to investors. This increasingly popular asset class offers diversification and attractive yields, but it also carries a unique set of risks.
What is a “Yield Spread”?
The term “yield spread” is one that you may see used quite frequently – and with good reason. The yield spread is one of the key metrics that bond investors can use to gauge how expensive or cheap a particular bond – or group of bonds – might be. Learn more about yield spreads and how they can help you make better investment decisions.
Understanding Callable Bonds
Some bonds have an unusual feature that allows the issuer to "call" back the bond and pay off the principal early. That poses some additional risk to investors in the debt market. But there are also some additional rewards available to buyers of callable bonds.