The first thing that comes to most people's minds when they think of investing is the stock market. After all, stocks are exciting. The swings in the market are scrutinized in the newspapers and even covered by local evening newscasts. Stories of investors gaining great wealth in the stock market are common.

Bonds, on the other hand, don't have the same sex appeal. The lingo seems arcane and confusing to the average person. Plus, bonds are much more boring - especially during raging bull markets, when they seem to offer an insignificant return compared to stocks.

However, all it takes is a bear market to remind investors of the virtues of a bond's safety and stability. In fact, for many investors it makes sense to have at least part of their portfolio invested in bonds.

This tutorial will hopefully help you determine whether or not bonds are right for you. We'll introduce you to the fundamentals of what bonds are, the different types of bonds and their important characteristics, how they behave, how to purchase them, and more.

(Before proceeding, it would be helpful for you to know a little about stocks. If you need a refresher, see our Stock Basics tutorial.)

Next: Bond Basics: What Are Bonds? »


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