Bond Investment Basics: High-Yield Corporate “Junk” Bonds


Michael Milken, known as the “Junk Bond King”, did some serious damage to the reputation of high-yield corporate bonds as an asset class. The investing public saw the collapse of a star like that as a sign that they should steer clear of this asset class entirely. While it is absolutely the case that no one should invest in high yield corporate bonds without excellent knowledge of what they are doing, it is not fair to say that they must always be avoided under all circumstances. That is just not accurate.  
 
Higher yield bonds pay a larger percentage rate in interest because they have a higher default rate than the average bond. In other words, they are higher risk but also higher reward. This is how investing works across the board. The individual who puts his or her money into high-yield corporate bonds is taking a chance on a company that has a spotty credit record from the past.  
 
Keep in mind the fact that a company offering a high-yield bond is not necessarily a company that is being poorly managed. Virtually all companies run into some financial difficulties at some point in time. A company issuing a high-yield bond may simply need to raise cash during a particularly difficult point in the cycle of the business. In that event, it is offering investors the opportunity of their lifetime to make some serious returns on their money.  
 
Every single person who invests in any asset should do their proper research and perhaps even consult with a financial adviser before making any moves.