Bonds may be lower risk, but they are not risk-free. You should research bondsjust as you would stocks before purchasing them. Learn how and where to buy bonds
Now that you what bonds are, you might be asking yourself how to actually get into the bond market. Let’s take a look at how to buy bonds, where to buy bonds and what to look out for.
Where to buy bonds?
Bonds can be bought either online or with a broker.
Directly from the Fed
In the U.S., you can buy bonds directly from the government through TreasuryDirect. All transactions and interest payments are done electronically. The Bureau of the Public Debt started TreasuryDirect so that people could bypass a broker completely if they wanted to.
Through a Broker
Be careful when using a broker. Typically, the broker will slightly mark up the price and happily tell you that the trade is totally commission free. This mark up will essentially be the same thing. The best thing to do is to simply look up the latest quote for the bond to make sure you’re not being taken advantage of.
Through a Mutual Fund
Buying individual bonds makes sense if you own a lot of them and hold them to maturity. Most people don’t do that, though. Most are better off buying bonds through a mutual fund, if only for diversification’s sake.
How to buy bonds (effectively?)
There are a number of important questions to ask yourself before buying bonds.
- What is the maturity of the bond?
- What’s the price?
- Does it have early redemption features such as a call date?
- What is the credit quality?
- What is the rating? Is it insured?
- What is the interest rate?
- What is the tax status?
Bonds are not nearly as liquid as stocks and ETFs, and therefore there is not nearly as much information publicly and freely available. If you are going to buy bonds, always buy them from a reputable source and always check your prices to make sure you are getting a fair price. Also, you must remember that when you buy a bond your return is called the Yield to Maturity and NOT the Coupon Rate. If you buy a bond below $1,000 you will yield MORE THAN the Coupon Rate; and if you buy a bond above $1,000 you will yield LESS THAN the Coupon rate.
All of this information on how to buy bonds can be overwhelming. Although bonds are technically lower risk, it’s still really important that you understand both how and where to buy bonds. Our Investing in Different Markets course covers all of it and more.
THE 3 BEST TOOLS FOR BEGINNER INVESTORS
Updated November 6, 2021: At WallStreetSurvivor, our passion is helping you learn to invest in the stock market the RIGHT WAY! As part of our commitment to you, we are constantly evaluating all types of financial tools from stock picking newsletters to brokerage apps to stock screeners and more. Here are our favorites:
1. BEST SOURCE OF STOCK PICKS FOR THE LAST 5 YEARS
We have been tracking ALL of the Motley Fool stock picks since January 2016. That's over 5 years and 120 stock picks. Take a look at their stock picks' performance for the last 5 years:
- Average return of their 120 picks from 2016 to 2020 is 233%
- That beats the SP500's 88%
- 84% of their picks are up
- 57 of those 120 stocks have doubled
Now, no one can guarantee that their next picks will be as strong, but our 5 years of experience has been super profitable as you can see. They do pick some losers, but the key for investors is to invest equal dollar amounts in all of their picks. So if you have $1,000 to invest in the market each month, buy $500 of each of their 2 monthly stock picks.
Normally the Motley Fool service is $199 per year but they are currently offering it at their lowest price ever: Just $79 for 12 months..
2. BEST STOCK BROKERAGE ACCOUNT
Robinhood was the first brokerage site to NOT charge commissions when they opened in 2013. They just past 10,000,000 accounts and to celebrate they are offering one free share of stock (value up to $250) when you open a new account. In addition, they will give you another free share of stock (up to $250) for each friend that you refer, max 3 friends a year.
Here's the details: You must click on a special promo link to open your new Robinhood account. Then when you fund your account with at least $10, you will receive one stock valued between $5 and $250. Then, you will get a link to share with your friends. Every time one of your friends opens an account, you will receive another free stock valued between $5 and $250.
3. FIVE STOCKS LIKELY TO DOUBLE
ZACKS Investment Research just released their list of 5 Stocks Likely to Double. ZACKS has been around since 1978 and their top rated stocks have an average gain of 25.35% per year over the last 30+ years. Best of all, you can get this list of 5 stocks for FREE by CLICKING HERE.