The barbell strategy is an investment strategy that involves purchasing both short-term and long-term bonds and securities but no intermediates (such as in a "laddered" approach).

The thinking behind this strategy is to help you, as an investor, diversify your portfolio and increase the probability of higher returns. The long-term investments will provide the benefit of higher interest rates and increasing value over time. Maintaining some holdings in short-term bonds will provide you with flexibility to take advantage of interest rate changes.

When using this strategy, you'll want to keep your long-term bonds but be poised to make changes to your short-term investments (buy or sell as needed) if interest rates change. Evaluate your portfolio's performance and then consider selling and reinvesting your long-term investments when they reach approximately the half-way point to maturity.

For more on this read, A Guide to Portfolio Construction.

This question was answered by Katie Adams.

  1. What is a barbell fixed-income strategy?

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  2. Do long-term bonds have a greater interest rate risk than short-term bonds?

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