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The 7 Best Bond Funds for Retirement Savers in 2019

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Bond funds are for your “safe” money. They give your portfolio ballast – and they’re a ready source of cash when you spot opportunities in the stock market.

Just keep the very long-term in mind and don’t get greedy with bonds in 2019. Almost every flavor of bond and bond fund lost at least a little money last year, and the same could happen this year.

For instance: Even the best long-term and even intermediate-term bonds and bond funds will likely do well only if there’s a dramatic slowdown in the economy, which would push down bond yields and boost their prices. (Bond yields and prices move opposite one another). Lower-credit-quality bonds, meanwhile, will only earn big profits if the economy, which seems likely to grow at a slower pace this year, instead continues to grow as rapidly as it did in 2018. Neither event looks likely.

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But while bond funds may not make you rich, they’ll likely at least keep up with inflation, and they almost certainly won’t make you poor. They’re a safety play in a Wall Street environment that makes safety a necessity.

With that in mind, here are my favorite bond funds for retirement savers in 2019. The focus? Low-risk bond funds that invest mainly in short-term, high-quality bonds. The goal? Protection.

SEE ALSO: The 27 Best Mutual Funds in 401(k) Retirement Plans

Data is as of Jan. 1, 2019. Yields are SEC yields, which reflect the interest earned after deducting fund expenses for the most recent 30-day period and are a standard measure for bond and preferred-stock funds.

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