The words ‘bear market’ have been bandied about a lot lately. When you read or hear them, remember to respond the same way you would if you saw an actual bear in the woods – by staying calm and keeping your wits about you. A changing bond market environment creates challenges for investors and financial advisors, but it also creates opportunities.
The last bear market in bonds began in the middle of the last century and lasted for about 31 years. Some investors who bought bonds in 1950 locked in relatively low rates of return for a very long time. On January 1, 1950, 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds yielded 2.3 percent.1 As interest rates moved higher, the market value of those bonds diminished.