Investing in bonds is a great way to grow your income. Bonds are debt securities issued by various organizations or the government.
Generally, bonds are safer compared to stocks. Often, market interest rates determine the actual price of bonds.
- 1 Different types of bonds to invest in
- 2 How can I purchase bonds?
When the interest rates are high, the prices fall. Investors receive interest payments from bonds and the total principal once the bond matures.
The bond market accommodates a wide range of participants and carries a low risk. Thus, it can be tempting to invest in the bond market. But first, it would help if you take the time to understand the bond market at an in-depth level.
What do investors look for?
A good percentage of investors prefer low-risk bonds even though they carry fewer returns. Fortunately, there are many bond types offered in the market. Thus, investors can always find their preferred option.
Most people love their peace of mind and cannot afford to invest in risky bonds. A risky bond has much higher returns than a safe bond. However, there is also the risk of losing all your money with a risky bond.
Different types of bonds to invest in
This article discusses the types of bonds that are the safest.
Financial experts report that savings bonds are the safest option. These bonds never lose principal and are often insured by the government. Nevertheless, these bonds do not provide high returns.
But your money is always safe with a saving bond. If you are a first-time investor, consider savings bonds. They are a great option to start with. You can find savings bonds from Treasury Direct.
These securities are also tax-advantaged. Other than providing fewer returns, savings bonds take longer to mature. Unlike other bond types, you cannot withdraw them in the form of cash during the first year.
Additionally, cashing these bonds within the first five years attracts heavy penalties. Savings bonds are therefore not a good option if you wish to cash them after a short time.
Another safe bond is the Treasury bill. Unlike savings bonds, treasury takes a short time to mature. They can mature within six months or one year.
They are less risky but carry meager returns. With treasury bills, you risk losing nothing since they mature quickly. You can find these bonds at TreasuryDirect.
The next type of safe bond in the market is banking instruments. Most banking instruments get insured by FDIC insurance.
Usually, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures banking instruments by $250,000 for a single account and $500,000 for a joint account.
However, make sure that the financial institution you use offers this kind of financial protection. Luckily, credit unions also offer the same type of protection.
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) is usually responsible for protecting banking instruments in credit unions. Financial security will not increase your money. But with it, you rest assured of compensation in case of anything.
U.S. Treasury Notes and Bonds
U.S Treasury notes and bonds also fall among the safest bond options. Even so, their prices fluctuate before they mature. Hence, it is often advisable to hold them until their maturity date.
As an investor, ensure that you won’t need cash until the bond matures. This way, you will obtain decent returns from the bond, and you run less risk of losing money.
But it is important to note that mutual funds invested in Treasuries do not mature. Thus, you may end up losing your principal loss at the end of the day with mutual funds.
Stable Value Funds
The next type of safe bond is stable value funds. These bonds are an ideal investment option for retirement plans. With stable value funds, you’ll undoubtedly receive your principal and interest upon maturity.
These bonds are often insurance products. Their maturity period is approximately three years. So, if you desire to cash these bonds within a short period, they may not be your best option. But stable value funds are among the safest bonds that offer high returns.
Money Market Funds
Money market funds are also a safe bond option. Unlike standard bank or savings accounts, money market funds bear more interests.
They focus on short-run investments like commercial paper and treasury bills which offer easy liquidation.
If you plan to cash out your bonds within a short period, money market funds are your best option. However, they carry meager returns compared to other bonds.
Short-Term Bond Funds
As the name suggests, these bonds have a short maturity period ranging from one to three years.
Consequently, they incorporate low risk since interest rates are less likely to affect their value in a period of 1 to 3 years. But they are prone to fluctuation. Even though they carry less risk, they offer minimal returns.
Bonds usually have different ratings. High-rated bonds are generally less risky; hence are a safe investment option.
But you can end up losing your principle with these bonds if the interest rates are high. The good thing is that you can redeem your principal if you leave the bond to mature.
Currently, there are many types of safe bonds. Therefore, investors should conduct thorough research on each type of bond before settling for one option.
Financial experts usually advise investing in two or more bond types. This way, there is a high probability of gaining high returns. Ultimately, the best bond type to choose often depends on your requirements.
Issuers of Bonds
At present, there are four main classifications of bond issuers. The one you settle for often depends on your requirements.
- Corporate bonds:
Bonds issued by various companies are commonly referred to as cooperate bonds. Instead of applying for debt financing in commercial banks, consider investing in company-issued bonds. Corporate bonds have favorable terms and conditions and lower interest rates.
- Municipal bonds:
The state and municipal authorities also issue bonds. One of the benefits of municipal bonds is that they are tax-free.
- Government bonds/sovereign debt:
Most investors are familiar with government bonds. Examples of government bonds include treasury bills issued by the U.S. Treasury. Government bonds that incorporate less maturity periods are popularly referred to as bills.
On the flip side, government bonds with a maturity period ranging from one to ten years are notes. Some government bonds come with financial protection. So, conduct thorough research before investing in a government bond.
- Agency bonds:
Various agencies qualify to issue bonds. Agency bonds have different maturity periods.
How can I purchase bonds?
The bond market involves trading over the counter via online platforms. Buying bonds is quite simple.
All you have to do is research the different brokers available. Once you find a reliable broker, contact them to get all the information you need, including the quote. From there, you can buy the bond.
What if I have limited cash?
Consider buying bonds directly if you have limited cash. You can do this by obtaining bond mutual funds or a bond ETF.
These bonds enable you to make monthly payment installments. Moreover, if you don’t want an individual bond, these bonds will work perfectly for you.
Why invest in the bonds market
One of the best ways to invest your money is through purchasing bonds. Bonds are reliable debt securities that guarantee returns with interest after a certain period.
Nowadays, there are different bond types that cater to other requirements. More often than not, investors prefer investing in low-risk bonds to avoid losing their principal.
But low-risk bonds carry low returns. Some of the safe bonds to consider are treasury bills, savings bonds, money market funds, and banking instruments.
Each of these bonds has several benefits and drawbacks. Thus, before choosing a particular bond option, understand the different types of bonds and how the bond market works.