All of my life I’ve heard about diversifying your assets by having stocks and bonds. I kind of know what a stock is but the other day I wondered, just what’s a bond, and why would I want one? If you have the same questions then stay tuned for the latest installment of my basic finance course: Finance 101.
I actually own some bonds as part of my investment strategy. My last employer offered employees the ability to purchase bonds automatically through a direct payroll deduction on a monthly basis. I figured, hey, why not and allocated $100 each month for about 6 months towards bonds. They were mailed directly to my mom, and I promptly forgot about them until I bumped into an old pay stub last week. I began to wonder, just what the heck did I purchase anyway? Let’s begin with definitions. According to About.com, a bond is “simply an ‘IOU’ in which an investor agrees to loan money to a company or government in exchange for a predetermined interest rate.” Great! So who’s the investor? Well, in this case that would be me or whoever purchased bonds. Sweet! I’m an investor. Now, how do I make money from this? This is where it gets interesting. It all depends on what types on bonds you’ve purchased. […]