Question: I want to invest in bonds. What’s the best way to go about it? How do yield fluctuations affect prices? What about interest rates?
Question: When calculating my asset allocation, should I put dividend-paying stocks in the stock or bond category? I’m retired and don’t want to invest too aggressively.
Question: How safe are Series I savings bonds? Can things like the recent debt-ceiling crisis affect them?
– Janice Shabra, Green Valley, Ariz.
Question: Currently 40% of my retirement funds are in cash because I fear interest rates can only go up. I’m earning only 1% and I realize this money should probably be invested in bonds. I would prefer ETFs, but am open to managed funds. Whatever funds I use would be within my IRA. I am 64, but do not anticipate needing this money for a very long time, if ever. My first question is allocation: Is a total bond market ETF adequate, or should I also invest in a foreign fund, high-yield fund, and/or TIPs? What funds would you recommend, and what allocation? My second question is even more important to me. How do I get from cash to bond funds or ETFs? All at once? Two percent a month for 50 months? Short, intermediate, or long term?
-John Duft, St. Jacob, Ill.
Question: I’ve got most of my money in a tax-free municipal bond fund, but there seems to be a lot of fear in the muni market. Are Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS) a good alternative and if so, how do I buy them?
– Chris Mooney, Watertown, Mass.
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