For decades, bonds had two things going for them. First, they had an attractive rate of income, which many call "yield." A yield of mid-single digits was the norm for most of the last 50 years, although my clients do still remind me of times when these yields were temporarily above 10 percent.
Having 40 percent or so of a total portfolio in an investment vehicle providing a 4 percent to 7 percent return would provide a healthy dose of income to offset the volatility in the stock portion.
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The second benefit of bonds over the past few decades has been rising prices, which have boosted the total return for bonds to levels beyond just the yield.
The problem is that at today's interest rates, traditional bonds no longer provide the safety net of healthy income, as yields are near historically low levels. Most investors, including those at Glassman Wealth, have left the low-yielding safe stuff, such as 10-year Treasurys (currently yielding 2.6 percent), to find greater yield in other types of bonds, such as foreign or junk bonds.