Fixed income is one of the two most important asset classes in many portfolios. Investing in stocks can be a bit like riding a rollercoaster, while fixed income often feels more like riding a merry-go-round. It’s often a place where we put some money aside to safeguard it against potential market crashes. Many investors underestimate the wide variety available within fixed income and the potential this asset class has to generate significant positive impact.
The terms “fixed income” and “bonds” are often conflated, which makes many people think they’re the same thing. While bonds are the most common type of fixed-income investment, there are other options available, such as notes, certificates of deposit (CDs), and loan funds. As you think about your fixed-income portfolio, you may want to include some of these products.
Leading up to the launch of Activate Your Money, author and Invest for Better co-founder, Janine Firpo, had a series of Fireside Chats in which she interviewed some of the women who contributed to the book. In this video chat, Janine and Akasha Absher, an expert on fixed income, talked about the bond market – how it works and how women can think about investing in it.
An investment resource we really value is the Money for the Rest of Us podcast series by David Stein. In Episode 225: How to Invest in Bonds and Other Fixed-Income Securities David walks listeners through the economic factors that influence interest rates and how these factors may affect bonds and other investments. He poses questions that help you think about buying and holding bonds.
Explore values-aligned bond options
The Climate Bonds Initiative is a resource for finding and researching individual bonds with an environmental focus. The site provides a wealth of information about environmental and green bonds and identifies new bond issuers as they enter the market.
Schwab has developed the Socially Conscious Funds List, a rather comprehensive list of fixed income and public equities funds broken down by type. Although many of the entries are stock funds, you will find listings of socially responsible bond funds toward the end of the document.
Blue Bonds are a new category of bonds in the market that are intended to support sustainable marine resources and oceans. Because they are so new, they are currently targeted toward institutional and other large investors. As time passes, these bonds should become available to retail investors as well.
Once you have a sense of what the Fixed Income market holds, you can check out the next resource to find stocks that integrate positive environmental, social, and governance criteria.
Remember that these are only a few sources of information about bonds and fixed income. The challenge comes in making a decision about which investment to make. That is where Invest for Better Circles shine. You do not have to go this alone. You do not have to do all the research yourself. You can join with others to share the work and learn together.