Should You Buy the Highest-Yielding Bond?

June 15, 2020
If you are considering two bonds, should you buy the one with the higher yield?

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After you listen

  • To learn more about investing in bonds or other fixed income strategies, check out schwab.com/FixedIncome
  • You can read more expert insight from Collin Martin on Insights & Ideas.

 

  • To learn more about investing in bonds or other fixed income strategies, check out schwab.com/FixedIncome
  • You can read more expert insight from Collin Martin on Insights & Ideas.

 

We all like low prices and big returns, but when faced with the decision of which bond to buy, should you pick the one with the higher yield? Should you, in essence, shop for a bond bargain? It could be that the yield number catches your attention because it is so salient. This decision is especially pertinent right now, given the low level of interest rates.

In this episode, Mark Riepe talks with Collin Martin, managing director and fixed income strategist at the Schwab Center for Financial Research, about what to consider—besides yield—when you are evaluating bonds.

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Important Disclosures

The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.

All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.

Investing involves risk including loss of principal.

Fixed income securities are subject to increased loss of principal during periods of rising interest rates. Fixed income investments are subject to various other risks including changes in credit quality, market valuations, liquidity, prepayments, early redemption, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors. High-yield bonds and lower-rated securities are subject to greater credit risk, default risk and liquidity risk.

Tax-exempt bonds are not necessarily a suitable investment for all persons. Information related to a security's tax-exempt status (federal and in-state) is obtained from third-parties and Schwab does not guarantee its accuracy. Tax-exempt income may be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Capital appreciation from bond funds and discounted bonds may be subject to state or local taxes. Capital gains are not exempt from federal income tax.

Preferred securities: (1) Generally have lower credit ratings than the firm's individual bonds (2) They generally have a lower claim to assets than the firm's individual bonds (3) Often have higher yields than the firm's individual bonds due to these risk characteristics. (4) Are often callable, meaning the issuing company may redeem the securities at a certain price after a certain date.

International investments involve additional risks, which include differences in financial accounting standards, currency fluctuations, geopolitical risk, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets. Investing in emerging markets may accentuate these risks.

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