Doug Drabik discusses fixed income market conditions and offers insight for bond investors.

"Ongoing perfect timing of the markets is impossible, yet time is efficiently critical and absolutely irreplaceable. Don’t let irreplaceable moments vanish in pursuit of an expected impossible execution."

No matter where interest rates are, at 10% or 1%, it is highly probable that your portfolio requires some level of principal protection. Principal protection knows no interest rate level. You cannot control interest rates but you can control how you choose to protect the assets that you don’t want to lose. Individual bonds are a critical component of long term investment and long term investment strategies. Substitute investment products come with some risk trade-off which is completely counter-intuitive to the protection being sought.

When interest rates are low, protecting your principal comes at the expense of lower levels of income. This is one of those instances where discipline to long term thinking and benefits are fundamental to most investor’s ultimate goal of protecting what they have. It is easier to protect your principal than to replace it. Stay Disciplined. Stay invested. Stay appropriately allocated to wealth preservation assets.

This market has made income generation challenging but individual bonds balance growth assets as well as protect principal. Our ongoing mission is to discuss ways to hold on to what you’ve earned with analytical and sound long term thinking regarding how to invest and retain this wealth. Portfolio optimization commands lifetime discipline with the use of both growth assets and individual bonds. Time is a most valuable resource that if lost, cannot be recovered so don’t waste or lose it… stay invested and appropriately allocated.


To learn more about the risks and rewards of investing in fixed income, please access the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s “Learn More” section of, FINRA’s “Smart Bond Investing” section of, and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s (MSRB) Electronic Municipal Market Access System (EMMA) “Education Center” section of

The author of this material is a Trader in the Fixed Income Department of Raymond James & Associates (RJA), and is not an Analyst. Any opinions expressed may differ from opinions expressed by other departments of RJA, including our Equity Research Department, and are subject to change without notice. The data and information contained herein was obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but RJA does not guarantee its accuracy and/or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinions expressed constitute a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security referred to herein. This material may include analysis of sectors, securities and/or derivatives that RJA may have positions, long or short, held proprietarily. RJA or its affiliates may execute transactions which may not be consistent with the report’s conclusions. RJA may also have performed investment banking services for the issuers of such securities. Investors should discuss the risks inherent in bonds with their Raymond James Financial Advisor. Risks include, but are not limited to, changes in interest rates, liquidity, credit quality, volatility, and duration. Past performance is no assurance of future results.

Stocks are appropriate for investors who have a more aggressive investment objective, since they fluctuate in value and involve risks including the possible loss of capital. Dividends will fluctuate and are not guaranteed. Prior to making an investment decision, please consult with your financial advisor about your individual situation.

Raymond James financial advisors do not render advice on tax or legal matters. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.

Investment products are: not deposits, not FDIC/NCUA insured, not insured by any government agency, not bank guaranteed, subject to risk and may lose value. Raymond James financial advisors do not render legal or tax advice. Please consult a qualified professional regarding legal or tax advice.

All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of Raymond James & Associates, Inc. and are subject to change. There is no assurance any of the trends mentioned will continue or that any of the forecasts mentioned will occur. Economic and market conditions are subject to change. Investing involves risk including the possible loss of capital. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index of 500 widely held stocks. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. The market performance noted does not include fees and charges which would affect an investor’s returns. Past performance may not be indicative of future results.