Four Bond Strategies

Bill Parrott |

Bonds don't get much love, especially after last year's rout, but they are vital to your investment success. Here are four investment strategies.


Bill Bernstein, author and investment professional, has said, "If you've won the game, stop playing." Mr. Bernstein allocates twenty years' worth of expenses to bonds to remove equity risk from his portfolio. Reducing risk in retirement is paramount, and bonds can help you achieve this goal. Suppose you spend $100,000 annually, then twenty years' worth of expenses is $2 million before inflation and $2.7 million after. If twenty years is too long, consider fifteen, ten, or five years for your bond exposure. Also, this strategy determines your asset allocation. For example, if you own a $5 million portfolio and allocate $2 million to bonds, you can invest the remainder in equities.


Allocate a portion of your assets to bonds if you are three to five years from retirement. If your annual expenses are $100,000, transfer $300,000 to $500,000 to bonds. Your bond portfolio can provide safety and income if you retire during a bear market. If you retire in a down market like 2000 or 2008, your fixed-income portfolio allows you to cover your expenses without selling your stocks at significant losses. It also gives your equities time to recover.

Major Purchase

Are you buying a new home, car, boat, or plane? Do you need to make a tuition payment? If so, buy bonds to match the liability. For example, if you need $200,000 for a down payment on a new home next year, buy $200,000 worth of bonds that mature simultaneously. The bonds remove uncertainty and equity risk ensuring that your funds will be available when you need them most.

Peace of Mind

Equities are volatile, especially last year. The stock market regularly corrects 10% or more and crashes 30% or 40% every few years, and they are not for the faint of heart. If you don't want extreme volatility, allocate a larger portion of your assets to bonds. Buying bonds can reduce your long-term returns, but knowing your assets can give you peace and security.

Bonds are a valuable tool if used correctly, and they can enhance your portfolio in certain situations.

Bye, bye, and buy bonds!

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. ~ Benjamin Franklin

May 2, 2023

Bill Parrott, CFP®, is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management in Austin, Texas. Parrott Wealth Management is a fee-only, fiduciary, registered investment advisor firm. Our goal is to remove complexity, confusion, and worry from the investment and financial planning process so our clients can pursue a life of purpose. Our firm does not have an asset or fee minimum, and we work with anybody who needs financial help regardless of age, income, or asset level. PWM's custodian is TD Ameritrade, and our annual fee starts at .5% of your assets and drops depending on your asset level.

Note: Investments are not guaranteed and do involve risk. Your returns may differ from those posted in this blog. PWM is not a tax advisor, nor do we give tax advice. Please consult your tax advisor for items that are specific to your situation. Options involve risk and aren't suitable for every investor. Prices and yields are for today only and are subject to change without notice.