Defined Maturity Bond Fund Analysis
When it comes to bond fund investing, it is a common concern for many fixed income investors: most bond funds have no fixed or defined maturity. Many investors have a predictable or preset time to invest a chunk of money. For example, they might want to invest this money for five years and then take it out for junior’s college or purchase a house. A normal bond fund, however, invests continuously in a collection of individual bonds. These holdings will be sold or closed (if they are mature) and the proceeds are used to purchase other bonds. Thus, a bond fund never matures and investing in bond funds can subject investors to price volatility or even loss. Suze Orman, for example, disavowed bond funds and suggested her audience to purchase individual bonds instead.
However, investing individual bonds requires large amount of capital: an individual bond might require at least $1000 and normally $5000 or so to purchase. To achieve reasonable diversification, you might need $10,000 or $50,000 at least. What’s more, it’s hard to do due diligence to select individual bonds.
Defined maturity (also called target maturity) bond funds such as Guggenheim Bullet Shares ETFs can help to alleviate the two problems mentioned above. These funds usually have a definite maturity. For example, BSJF (Guggenheim BulletShrs2015 HY CorpBd ETF) is an ETF that matured in 2015 (last year). It invests in high yield corporate bonds that matured by the end of 2015.
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