Bonds involve investors loaning their money to an organisation (ie a government or a company), and receiving fixed interest payments over a set amount of time. They are traditionally seen as a safe investment, and a key part of a diversified portfolio.
Bonds have always been a popular investment for British investors, for while their value can fluctuate according to factors such as interest rates and inflation, they provide investors with a regular income.
At MoneyWeek, we'll keep you up to date with what's going on in the bond markets – and whether or not it's a good time to buy them.
It's easy to become confused about bonds – the term covers a wide range of financial products. Here, Ed Bowsher explains the main types of bond.
In this video, Ed takes a look at UK government bonds – how they work, why they are important, and whether you should invest in them.
MoneyWeek bond watch
Government bond yields around the world started climbing again in Autumn 2010. This showed investors getting more jittery about a toxic mix of soaring state borrowings and rising inflation, and so demanding bigger returns as compensation.
Global ten-year sovereign bond yields
America's ten-year bond yield is arguably the world's most important market indicator: it sets the cost of global long-term borrowing. As with other government bond yields, it falls (prices rise) when economic growth and inflation decline, because the fixed income stream paid by sovereign debt becomes more valuable. Quantitative easing (central bank bond-buying) has lowered yields further.
Eurozone ten-year sovereign bond yields
On the edge of the eurozone, rising default fears have been sending peripheral countries' sovereign debt yields soaring. The rough line in the sand so far is 7% - when yields breach that, it looks like the point of no return.
How will this play out? Watch this page to keep a close eye on those yields – they're a great early warning indicator of trouble ahead.
Spanish and Italian three-year sovereign bond yields
Here's the chart of Spanish and Italian three-year bonds. As investors' fears about these countries' finances grew, yields spiked up sharply.
Bonds: the MoneyWeek view
February 2016: Opt for safety Low-quality corporate bonds have been overpriced for many years. Now investors are heading for the exits: the Bank of America Merrill Lynch High Yield index now yields 9.5%, compared to 6.3% in April 2015. We expect a wave of defaults in the years ahead. Stick to high-quality issues.
• See our view on all the major asset classes here.
Asset allocation is at least as important as individual share selection. So where should you be putting your money? Here’s our monthly take on the major asset classes.
Lloyds Bank’s decision to redeem £3bn-worth of bonds has been slammed by investors as unfair and premature. Sarah Moore reports.
Investing in bonds usually means piling into a managed bond fund. But as Bengt Saelensminde explains, that makes little sense in today’s markets.
It’s not just developed-world companies – emerging-market firms have been on a borrowing binge too.
In the past few years, yield-starved investors have stampeded into high-yield corporate debt. But junk bonds aren’t looking so attractive anymore.
The market crash is starting to make some edgier investments look interesting, says John Stepek. And how much is sterling’s recent slide to do with fear of Brexit?
Asset allocation is at least as important as individual share selection. So where should you be putting your money? Here’s our monthly take on which assets to buy now.
The high-yield or junk bonds market hit the headlines this week, with the failure of Third Avenue Management, the biggest failure of a fund aimed at retail investors since 2008.
The desperate hunt for yield has left the corporate bond market vulnerable to interest rate rises. With US rates now climbing, things could get very painful, says John Stepek
China’s change to the way its currency operates has sent a very clear message to the US. John Stepek explains what’s going on, and why it matters.