A bond is a loan an investor makes to a corporation, government, federal agency or other organization in exchange for interest payments over a specified term plus repayment of principal at the bond’s maturity date. There are a wide variety of bonds including Treasuries, agency bonds, corporate bonds, municipal bonds and more. Likewise there are many types of bond mutual funds.
When you invest in bonds and bond mutual funds, you face the risk that your investment might lose money, especially if you bought an individual bond and want or need to sell it before it matures. And bond mutual fund prices can fluctuate, just as stock mutual funds do. Risk will also vary depending on the type of bond you own.
Bonds and bond mutual funds often can be an important component of a diversified investment portfolio. Whether you are just starting out or a seasoned investor, we have an array of articles, tools and resources to help learn more about bond investing.