The Best High-yield Income Funds

If you’re diving into the world of investments, learn all you can about high-yield income funds. Choosing bond funds is not a difficult process, once you map out your goals and pinpoint your tolerance for risk. Above all, a diversified portfolio is a key to success.

What is a High-yield Bond?

High-yield bonds are bonds paying out high yields that have a lower credit rating as compared to investment-grade municipal bonds, Treasury bonds and corporate bonds, explains Investopedia. Investment-grade bonds have a higher credit rating. With a higher default risk, the high-yield bonds compensate investors with a higher yield. Generally, you’ll find the issuers of these bonds to be start-ups or firms that have higher debt ratios, making them greater risks. When you can stomach the risk, you can expect somewhere between 150 and 300 basis points greater yield when compared to investment-grade bonds.

What Are Your Goals?

Before choosing an investment, it’s wise to set your goals for your money. Are you looking to achieve long-term gains, or do you need your money to work for you right now? The decisions you make for high-yield income funds will depend on whether you’re funding a retirement account that you’re decades away from needing or whether you have some short-term goals that require fast cash. Match your bond fund with your investment time frame, even choosing an ultra-short-term bond fund if you need to get your hands on the cash within one or two years, suggests The Balance.

How Much Risk Can You Take?

How much risk can you tolerate? Are you happier with conservative investments without a lot of ups and downs, or are you willing to ride out some crazy weather? If you’re up for a bit of risk, you can often increase your return significantly. This approach is not for the faint of heart, though.

Benefits of Diversification

A diversified portfolio is a key to investment success. Including a few high-yield bond funds in your portfolio injects a bit of risk, but the returns can be sizable. Bond funds tend to have less volatility as well as a low correlation to the stock market, advises Investopedia. Volatility describes a bond fund’s net asset value fluctuation, explains Zacks. This makes them ideal diversifiers even with less volatility.

A Few Suggestions for High-yield Income Funds

If you’ve decided to jump on the high-yield bond fund bandwagon, look for total bond market funds, counsels The Balance. It’s not crucial to find bond funds offering the highest yields. Instead, look for funds that include all types of bonds with low cost or lower than average expense ratios. Hold your bond funds in an individual retirement account or a 401(k) to limit income taxes on your investment income.