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Why Bother With Bonds

A Practical Guide To Build An All-Weather Portfolio Including CDs, Bonds, and Bond Funds
—Even During Low Interest Rates

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Learn how to use CDs, bonds, and bond funds to manage risk/reward even during low interest rates. You will learn:

  • How to choose your allocation to stocks and bonds
  • How to become immune to changing interest rates
  • When to use CDs and individual bonds
  • How to choose a good bond fund
  • How to hedge against unexpected inflation

Why Bother With Bonds

This program is an alternative to my paperback book at Amazon—which is sufficiently complete if book-learning fits your needs. But if your preference is to have someone quickly tell you what you need to know and then how to build the bond portion of your portfolio, then this course might be for you.

This book is aimed at 99% of investors—ordinary investors—because bonds play a role in every portfolio. Investing is "simple, not easy." You'll find it fairly simple to understand how bonds work and the important role that they play. The important goal is the more difficult part: to own the correct allocation of bonds for your situation.

Photo Credit: These all-weather hikers are happily living their dreams. They are prepared for any weather—the perfect metaphor for creating all-weather investment portfolios! Photo by Stocksy.


Related article: Build an all weather portfolio. An in-depth guide to using bucket concept to visualize and increase confidence in your asset allocation.

Your Instructor


Rick Van Ness
Rick Van Ness

Rick Van Ness is a successful private investor and retired executive who provides investor education through online videos, short books, and workshops. Rick has an engineering degree from Cornell University and a MBA in Finance from New York University. His background in engineering and business provides him with the excellent basis for understanding and teaching investments and financial planning.

Rick provides unbiased education. He helps students understand the teachings of the most widely respected economists and financial planners. Students learn that smart investing is simple (not easy) and to take charge of their own finances on their paths to achieving rich and fulfilling lives.


Course Curriculum


  How To Reduce Risk From Interest Rate Changes
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  How To Reduce Risk From Unexpected Inflation
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  Summary of Key Points in this Course
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  Comments and Feedback (Student and Instructor Room)
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Frequently Asked Questions


Who is this course for?
This course is especially aimed at working Americans, ages 18 to 65. We teach how to achieve financial freedom and other dreams, by growing your money faster with less risk, worry, and stress. If you live outside the USA, most of the concept might be valuable, but I make no effort to address foreign taxation and other country differences.
When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

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Praise from other students

(Amazon reviews about the paperback book version)

“Best explanation I have ever seen or read! ” — Charles Van Citters
“A clear discussion of the rationale for including bonds. The book explains (with many examples) some of the intricacies of types of bonds, mutual funds vs individual bonds, corporate vs government bonds, the place for high yield bonds, and the reason for TIPS. All of this done with explanations that do not talk down to beginning bond investors but will inform some "experienced" investors."
— J. Douglass
“This is an excellent primer on bonds. Bonds is an investment instrument that is often misunderstood. I used to use my knowledge about stocks and apply it to bonds. The result was an unreasonable expectation of bonds and overly risky portfolio. This book shows bonds in a way that is not overwhelming, easy to follow and understand. This book really helps to see bonds as it is, and give the reader enough knowledge to answer this question, Why bother with bonds?”
— Erwien Saputra
“Good tutorial on bond investing and its benefits. Read this book for motivation to invest in bonds even if interest rates could go up. General investing and saving advice is sprinkled throughout as well."
— John F. Wood, Jr.
“I like the book Why Bother with Bonds. This is the type of book I recommend to my investment aficionado friends because it is easy to read and easy to follow. Readers will not find a ton of senseless formulas in this book. I have retained a copy in my computer for ready reference. Overall, good work by the author Rick Van Ness."
— Carmelo (Fig) Figueroa
“I wish I had found something like this years ago. This is the ideal introductory book for bonds. I wish I had found something like this years ago. A few books become reference material for a lifetime. This is one such."
— George Kurdy
“If you're all about stocks you need to read this book. I bought this book because, at 60, I'm getting serious about rebalancing my investments. But I didn't understand how or why to incorporate bonds. Now I do. I found this book to be a fascinating read with clear explanations and solid recommendations. Like investing in general, start this book now for your best future returns."
— Max E Gainey
“Great primer on why we hold bonds in our portfolios. I always learn something while reading books on asset allocation. Sometimes it's from a few paragraphs or a few pages. I am a decades-long indexer but I now know not to fear interest rate increases in my intermediate bond funds You have explained that with great clarity."
— Sara Higgins
“Teaches bonds better than any investing book I've ever read. Just as bonds are a must-have for every portfolio, this book is a must-have for every investor's bookshelf. You will enjoy learning about bonds, bond funds, inflation, interest rates, and stock/bond allocation."
— Berk_cancon
“Timely, excellent perspective on bonds. This book is an excellent refresher for all investors on the importance of a balanced portfolio. It is particularly timely given the very low interest rate environment we have experienced in recent years."
— Dwight Berryman
“Good data on building a balanced portfolio. I learned a lot about bonds and bond funds I never knew about and was not even smart enough to ask about. Highly recommended."
— Robert Mint
“Just what I was looking for regarding bonds! For me this book was ideal—not overly long, not overly complicated—but you come away with more of an understanding about how to effectively allocate bonds into your portfolio."
— Kim Jordan
“Good investing advice. Very nice summary of various ways to invest in bonds, the risks for each, and how to give bonds a position in your portfolio."
— Robert Starkston
“Very clear and thorough explanation of how and why to ... Very clear and thorough explanation of how and why to include bonds in your investment portfolio."
— Donald A. Schweppe
“I thought bonds were lousy investments...until I read this book. Okay, I'm going to admit it...for YEARS I thought bonds were boring, stodgy, low interest investments that were bought by big corporations to park money, and old fogies. I thought I could earn more income picking up pop bottles by the side of the road for the deposit. I was wrong. Rick does a great job explaining how bonds ARE a good investment. And he tells you straightaway that you don't put ALL of your money in bonds, but a PORTION. And as you get older, the allocation of your investments may creep up so that bonds are a larger portion of it. Finally, Rick is a good writer, he knows his stuff, and makes it interesting. ESPECIALLY if you are right out of college, just starting a family, or planning your retirement, you'd be an idiot to not read this book. Oh, or here's an idea: go see a financial planner and pay them big bucks for what Rick would tell you for the change you can find in your couch."
— Steven M. Bohne

Praise from professional money managers

(about the paperback book version)

“Over the past several years, as stocks have surged and bond yields have dwindled, investors increasingly ask "Why bother with bonds?" Rick Van Ness takes this question and runs with it in his book sporting this provocative title. Sooner or later, this question will answer itself, and it will behoove all investors to get to know Rick before it does. Read it, enjoy it, and profit from it—before it's too late.”

— William J. Bernstein
Author, The Investor's Manifesto, and
The Four Pillars of Investing

“Every successful portfolio includes bonds. Having the right bond strategy will serve to carry investors through the inevitable stock market meltdowns. Having the wrong bond strategy, however, will prove financially fatal. In his simply stated and entertaining book, Rick Van Ness eloquently instructs the reader on how to do bonds right—in fact, better than any single book I've read. Why Bother With Bonds dispels many bond myths, giving readers an insight that could be the difference between achieving financial independence or not.”

— Allan S. Roth, CFP, CPA, MBA
Author: How a Second Grader Beat Wall Street

Why Bother With Bonds? is one of the most asked questions on the Bogleheads Forum. In his great little book of the same name, Rick Van Ness answers this important question in words and graphs. Rick provides the information needed to select the best type and amount of bonds necessary to provide safety and income for one's portfolio."

— Taylor Larimore
Co-author: The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing, and
The Bogleheads' Guide to Retirement Planning


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