DEFINITION of 'Dumbbell'

A method of investing in bonds so that the majority of an investor's portfolio consists of short-term, low-risk bonds and a small percentage of high-risk, long-term bonds. A dumbbell allows investors to split his or her risk between high- and low-risk investments while capitalizing on the highest possible returns.

Also called the barbell strategy.


This strategy is called a dumbbell or barbell because of the way the maturity of the bonds would look on a timeline. The short-term bonds mature near the beginning of the timeline, a long period with no maturity, and then the long-term bonds mature towards the end of the timeline.

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