|Expense Ratio (net)||0.20%|
|Last Cap Gain||0.00|
|Morningstar Risk Rating||Average|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||0.54|
|5y Average Return||N/A|
|Average for Category||N/A|
|Inception Date||Oct 29, 1982|
These low-risk vehicles give you a positive after-inflation rate on your money, writes Mark Hulbert.
Investors in even the best bond funds that Wall Street has to offer might be in for a difficult 2020.Much of the bond market, in my view, is in a bubble - just as tech stocks were in 1999. And bubbles always end badly.Consider that in November 2019, $12.5 trillion was invested globally in bonds that have negative yields. That's down from a peak of $17 trillion in August, but that's still an absurd amount of money invested globally in bonds that have negative yields. That means investors are paying interest to a borrower to lend the borrower money -- which is just as crazy as it sounds. Carl Weinberg, chief economist at High Frequency Economics, notes that a bond with a negative yield is worth less than "a bag of dirt in your basement."What's more, at various points recently, long-term bonds have been paying lower yields to investors than short-term bonds - a phenomenon known as a negative yield curve, which is typically predictive of a recession sometime down the road.The lesson is to keep bond maturities short. With bond yields so low, they almost have to rise unless we're entering a period of serious deflation, which seems a remote possibility. And when bond yields rise, total returns on shorter-duration funds will sparkle compared to likely losses on long-term bond funds.Here are my seven best bond funds to buy for 2020, from least to most risky. Bonds are primarily intended to add stability and a bit of income to your portfolio - not to take big risks in search of huge profits. For bonds, 2020 likely will be a year to be concerned not so much with return on capital but with return of capital. SEE ALSO: The 30 Best Mutual Funds in 401(k) Retirement Plans
Unlike other mutual fund companies, Vanguard is owned by the funds themselves, which helps its management focus better on shareholder interests.