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Investing Specialists

Are Bonds Adding to Your Equity Exposure?

Check correlations before adding credit-sensitive fixed-income assets to your portfolio.

These are trying times for yield-seekers. The Federal Reserve has kept interest rates ultralow since late 2008, and chairman Ben Bernanke said earlier this year that the Fed wasn't inclined to push up its benchmark interest rate until 2014.

That might be good news for those in the market for home loans, but it's surely unwelcome for seniors and others trying to wring a livable income stream from their portfolios. Yields on cash instruments such as certificates of deposit are barely in the black, while you're lucky to pick up a yield of more than 3% on an intermediate-term bond fund.