How to pick the best bond funds

At some point in your time, you might have thought of investing your hard-earned money in the market to earn lucrative returns. When it comes investing, there is a wide range of options that you can choose from. And bond funds are one of the best investment options.

A bond is a debt security in which the investors lend money to the borrowers or issuers for a certain amount of time for the investment purpose. Similarly, lenders issue bond funds in exchange for investing your money into mutual funds.

Before we set out to figure out how to choose the best bond funds for 2018, let us know how bond funds work.

As we have already established what bond funds are, the best way to understand how they work is to know how they differ from stocks. Simply put, you are an owner when you buy stocks and a loaner if you buy bonds.

Bond funds pay interest to the bondholder (loaner) at a stated interest rate for a stipulated period of time. The loaner will receive returns in the form of interest payments and a 100% of their principal amount they invested initially, at maturity.

Let us take a simple example to explain this further. Suppose a loaner invests $5000 in one of the best bond funds of 2018 and gets a bond certificate in return. The bond investor will invest that amount in mutual funds. If the maturity of the bond fund is slated to be for 10 years with an interest rate of 5%, the loaner will get $250 at the end of every year for 10 years and the principal amount of $5000 on maturity.

Now that you are aware of how bond funds work, read on to know the factors to consider in order to choose the best bond funds for 2018.

Bond funds and diversification
One of the popular reasons people invest in bond funds is diversification. Diversification is the phenomenon in which an amount is spread over a different type of investments and not consolidated into one single investment. Hence, look for best bond funds for 2018 that offer maximum diversification. Since bond funds are a type of mutual funds, they can perform well even if the stock market or economy, on the whole, is not.

Investment accounts for the best bond funds of 2018
Bonds funds are nothing but mutual funds. Hence, you will want to limit taxes incurring on the returns of the investment. In this case, it is generally best to place bond funds tax-advantage accounts like 401(K) or Individual Retirement Account (IRA). This is because these types of accounts don’t levy taxes on interest-generated income and capital gains. Thus, bond funds accumulate more compound interest and grow faster in a tax-deferred account.

You can also look for investing in municipal bond funds as they are free from taxes at the federal income tax level. If you invest in municipal bonds funds of your state, the income tax if applicable will be free even at the state level.

Investment objectives
Each type of bond fund has a certain objective. While you are searching for the best bond funds for 2018, make sure you have investment objectives in place. To put things in perspective, investing in a short-term bond fund would be much beneficial than a bond fund with a higher maturity rate if you have a checking or a savings account. This is because you will probably withdraw your earnings from the account within one or two years.

If you are planning to invest in the best bond funds for 2018, there are numerous financial websites to help you with the same. Ask your financial advisor or consult an investment agency to help you guide into investing your money to get maximum returns through bond funds today!