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Bonds Now!: Making Money in the New Fixed Income Landscape

ISBN: 978-0-470-54700-7
195 pages
December 2009
Bonds Now!: Making Money in the New Fixed Income Landscape (0470547006) cover image
A money-making formula for navigating the bond market's new rules of fixed income investing

The credit meltdown has completely reshaped the market for government bonds, Treasury bonds, T-bills, and high yield bond funds. Investors are flocking to corporate bonds and municipal bonds. Tax advantaged bonds have become the safe haven of choice. But you have to know where to look. Bonds Now! shows you.

Bonds Now! offers rare insight into safely investing in fixed income vehicles while maintaining necessary liquidity and meeting yield targets. It doesn't waste a lot of time on the elementary basics, but instead, jumps right in and shows you how to build a safe bond portfolio designed to weather turbulent economic downturns.

  • Discusses how to quickly analyze a bond as well as buy and sell them
  • Examines what it takes to build an impregnable fortress around your bond portfolio
  • Reveals how to develop a sixth sense for trouble and sell your bond position while there's still time

There is only one way to guarantee you're getting the right information-get it yourself. Bonds Now! shows you how and where, but even more importantly, this reliable resource clearly explains what to do with it once you have it. This is a knockout formula with proven results. It is the only way to guarantee the bond market won't steal your money.

Today's explosive financial environment demands that investors find a safe haven for their money. Using Bonds Now! as your guide, the bond market is that place. Buy this book today and start your own journey to economic recovery.

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Foreword by Steve Forbes.

Preface.

About the Authors.

Chapter 1. Portfolio Survival.

Chapter 2. New Rules of Engagement.

Chapter 3. Fortress Investing.

Chapter 4. Bond Execution.

Chapter 5. Learning From Mistakes.

Chapter 6. Egos Gone Wild.

Chapter 7. The Bond Rating Agencies.

Chapter 8. How to Buy and Sell Bonds: Without Being Taken to the Cleaners.

Chapter 9. Managing Your Bond Portfolio.

Chapter 10. Horror Stories From The Bond Trenches.

Chapter 11. Bond Analysis - How to Analyze an Issuer's Creditworthiness.

Chapter 12. Mission-Specific Instruments.

Chapter 13. Developing a Sixth Sense: Bet on the Unexpected, and Anticipate Its Coming.

Chapter 14. Lessons Learned.

Index.

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Marilyn Cohen is one of the top bond managers in the country. Her thirty-year financial career has included securities analysis, bond brokerage, and, for the last fourteen years, founder and CEO of Envision Capital Management. For over fourteen years, Marilyn Cohen has written the bond column in Forbes magazine. She also publishes the monthly Forbes Tax Advantaged Investor newsletter.

Chris Malburg is a popular business and finance writer. He is a CPA, has an MBA, and is a former partner at investment banking powerhouse Global Capital. Malburg is also founder and CEO of Writers Resource Group, Inc. Bonds Now! is his tenth book.

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February 11, 2010
Bonds Now!

The financial crisis and stock market nosedive resulted in droves of investors flocking to bonds. Everything from Treasuries, T-bill, and municipal bonds to corporate bonds and high-yield bond funds have quickly become the safe haven of choice, but the bond market is not as straight forward as it seems. In fact, according to Marilyn Cohen, founder and CEO of Envision Capital Management and long-time Forbes bond columnist, too many investors had their bond portfolios on cruise control through the 2008/2009 credit crisis. The result: Their portfolio values shrank by a third or more. There is a whole new set of rules on how to buy, what to buy, and when to buy in order to make money in the bond market. In BONDS NOW! (Wiley; December 2009; $29.95; 978-0-470-54700-7; Hardcover), Cohen and financial writer Chris Malburg link the new rules of profiting in the bond market to new survival methods and fresh buy/sell principles so that investors can make smart choices in the post-credit crisis era.

Picking up where basic texts leave off, BONDS NOW! offers such practical advice as:

  • Avoid Industries with Government Intervention: Never buy a corporate bond with even a hint of government participation, interest, or investment.
  • Match Your Bonds with Your Risk Tolerance: Invest in a bond only if the underlying rating meets your risk criteria.
  • Steer Clear of Sub-Debt: Don’t buy bank-subordinated debt. The U.S. government demanded conversion of all preferred shares into common stock. This had the effect of moving the preferred stock holders from near the top of the payment ladder to the very bottom.
  • Balance Any Large Concentrations That Could Severely Damage Overall Performance if the Issuer, Industry, or Geographic Area Suffered: Populate portfolios with a balance of bonds whose maturities, issuers, types, and repayment sources are diversified. The goal is to win the entire war, not just one battle. Limit exposure to any one industry or region to no more than 15 percent.
  • Pick Your Maturity Position: If the debt maturity is too far out, the company may use all its cash paying other debt issues and could run short by the time your bond comes due.
  • Keep a Distance from Your Money Manager: Never write a check for an investment directly to and in the name of a money manager. All monies should be paid directly to the third party custodian.
  • Don’t Trust the Ratings: Don’t base investment decisions solely on ratings. They may be wrong or be getting ready to issue a downgrade that is months late in coming. Such errors have cost investors tens of billions.
  • Recession-Proof Your Portfolio: In a recession, go with essential purpose revenue bonds such as tax-exempt bonds issued for large, stable utility systems—water, sewer, and electric—rather than obligation bonds.
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