NO JUNK FUNK?

September 16, 2008
Michael Sheehan

Physician's Money Digest, May 31 2003, Volume 10, Issue 10

When stocks tank, a portfolio witha healthy helping of bonds will dobetter than one that's heavy withequities, but not if the bonds are junkbonds. Junk bonds tend to trackstocks rather than bonds, which hasmade them look good lately, up about10% since late 2002. Add that to a fataverage yield of about 12.5% andjunk bond investors have good reasonto smile. Bond mavens point out thatthe default rate, which hit 11% lastyear, is down to 8%, suggesting thatthe party may go on. If you want totake on junk-bond risk, however, it'sbest to spread it around by finding ahigh-yield bond fund. You'll need a$250,000 initial investment to getinto this year's best-yielding fund,Nations High Yield Bond (800-321-7854), but just $3000 will let you buyinto Vanguard's High Yield Corporatefund (800-635-1511) with its puny0.27% expense ratio.