Are you curious how to buy or sell an existing municipal bond? Watch this video to learn about the process.
While many people purchase municipal bonds as part of their overall investing strategy, they may not know the interesting story behind municipal bonds. Learn more about this story - why municipal bonds are created, how they work, and who plays a role in the process.
Learn about the information available to analyze a bond investment for both cash flow and risk impact on a pre-trade basis.
In general, the bond market is volatile, and fixed income securities carry interest rate risk. (As interest rates rise, bond prices usually fall, and vice versa. This effect is usually more pronounced for longer-term securities). Fixed income securities also carry inflation risk, liquidity risk, call risk and credit and default risks for both issuers and counterparties. Lower-quality fixed income securities involve greater risk of default or price changes due to potential changes in the credit quality of the issuer. Foreign investments involve greater risks than U.S. investments, and can decline significantly in response to adverse issuer, political, regulatory, market, and economic risks. Any fixed-income security sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to loss.
The municipal market can be affected by adverse tax, legislative, or political changes, and by the financial condition of the issuers of municipal securities. Interest rate increases can cause the price of a money market security to decrease. Municipal funds normally seek to earn income and pay dividends that are expected to be exempt from federal income tax. If a fund investor is resident in the state of issuance of the bonds held by the fund, interest dividends may also be exempt from state and local income taxes. Such interest dividends may be subject to federal and/or state alternative minimum taxes. Certain funds normally seek to invest only in municipal securities generating income exempt from both federal income tax and the federal alternative minimum tax; however, outcomes cannot be guaranteed, and the funds may sometimes generate income subject to these taxes. Fund shareholders may also receive taxable distributions attributable to a fund's sale of municipal bonds. Generally, tax-exempt municipal securities are not appropriate holdings for tax-advantaged accounts such as IRAs and 401(k)s.