Retirement & Financial Planning Report

If you’re looking for a sector of the bond market where prices are depressed, consider the high-yield corporate bond market. The First Boston High Yield Index returned a bare 0.58% in 1998 and 3.28% in 1999: in essence, junk bonds lost almost as much principal as they paid out in interest. So far this year, junk bonds are running negative. Default rates are up and the financial markets have been leery of low-grade bonds since mid-1998. After all the bad news, here’s the good news: yields are up. Some junk bonds now yield 13%, far above the 6% you can earn on long-term Treasuries. If you can earn 10% or more with junk bonds, why take the risks of investing in stocks?