"Cash is king" in today's bond market -- if rates keep rising. That's the opinion shared by Joseph Balestrino, senior vice president and senior portfolio manager at Federated Investors, and Tony Crescenzi, chief bond market strategist at Miller Tabak. The bond mavens advised "Morning Call" viewers on how to play the market.
Balestrino, who also serves as fixed-income market strategist, told CNBC's Mark Haines that the wisest course for fixed-income investors is to "be patient."
He believes that U.S. employment is "so strong" and overseas growth so "sustainable" that yields are likely to go higher. Balestrino said he tends to avoid the far ends of the yield curve; instead, he prefers to play the "six, seven, eight-year part of the curve."
Crescenzi agreed that a rate normalization seems to be underway, and he sees "long-term rates" as "riskier right now."
But he still believes bonds can be a good investment, depending on "which bonds and which maturities" one picks. If yields keep rising, "anything shorter than 10 years would be good," while bonds that mature "under five years" might be the smartest picks of all, he added.