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The Strategic Bond Investor: Strategies and Tools to Unlock the Power of the Bond Market Hardcover – July 12, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

An Innovative Approach for Earning Equity-Style Returns­­-While Offsetting Portfolio Risks­­-In Today's Bond Market

Bond investing­­historically seen as safe, stodgy, and ultra-conservative­­can be every bit as exciting and profitable as the stock market. The Strategic Bond Investor outlines a dramatic new style of bond investing, aggressive yet risk-conscious, that is long overdue for investors who have grown weary of today's "earn it today, give it back tomorrow" stock market gyrations.

The first book to approach fixed income investing from a stock market perspective, The Strategic Bond Investor provides:

  • Detailed explanations of different bond types, and how they perform in various market environments
  • Key economic reports, and how they influence bond prices and profit opportunities
  • Insights into how you can use the yield curve and other key indicators to predict the direction of the markets and the economy

The Strategic Bond Investor describes the tools every investor needs to take part in today's bond market­­spotting market extremes, analyzing volume and liquidity, and utilizing dozens of other techniques that until recently were limited to institutional and equity investors. Let its information and guidelines show you how to more effectively hedge risk in your overall portfolio, and uncover new profit opportunities in today's transformed investment marketplace.

"This book will help you to understand the most essential elements of intelligent bond investing. By simply gaining a greater understanding of the many ways the bond market can affect you and by utilizing the tools in this book to your advantage, you'll be on your way toward unlocking the power of the bond market..."­­From Chapter 1

For decades, professional investors have understood "the power of the bond market" for balancing portfolios, hedging investment risks, and even locking in fast-turnaround trading profits. The Strategic Bond Investor is the first hands-on, plain-English book to reveal the tricks of the fixed-income trade to a larger audience, and explain how all investors can start today to take profitable advantage of the biggest securities market in the world­­the U.S. bond market.

A long-overdue discussion of this accessible and flexible market, The Strategic Bond Investor provides insights and trading tips on subjects including:

  • The five largest market segments­­Treasuries, government agencies, corporate bonds, municipal bonds, and mortgage-backed securities
  • How the Fed "telegraphs" its moves, allowing investors to stay one step ahead of changing interest rates
  • All about the Yield Curve­­the bond market's reliable and all-important crystal ball

In addition to the investment dynamics of bonds, this fast-paced book discusses the importance of today's fixed income market to the economy in general. From the vital role of bonds in providing capital to growing businesses to the ways in which increased securitization and innovation assure the continued growth of the bond market, seasoned investment professional Anthony Crescenzi helps you understand every market facet­­and provides you with a bedrock foundation for making profitable decisions.

Bonds have turned the corner, and are now seen as a vital component of any well-diversified investment portfolio. Learn the rules of the game in The Strategic Bond Investor, and discover short- and long-term techniques and strategies you can use to take advantage of the unlimited potential of bond investing and make it a vital component of your overall trading strategy.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Anthony Crescenzi is senior vice president, market strategist, and portfolio manager at PIMCO. He is also the author of Investing from the Top Down and coauthor of Stigum’s Money Market, Fourth Edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 2 edition (July 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071667318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071667319
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
By far the best introduction to bonds is Annette Thau's The Bond Book. But Thau makes no attempt to explain why the price of a given bond fluctuates over time. Crescenzi, one of the most frequently cited of the legion of professional Fed watchers, tries to make up this deficiency, describing the impact of Fed moves, market perceptions of the state of the economy, the supply of new issues, etc. on bond prices.

But Crescenzi has a much more ambitious agenda. He explains how the yield curve can be used to forecast developments in the economy. Other chapters summarize how to predict trends within the bond market, from analyzing the put/call ratio to interpreting the economic data that a dozen or more agencies spew out every week. He makes the case that knowing the bond market will be useful to anyone with a credit card in his or her wallet.

Crescenzi also wants the book to serve as a general introduction to bonds. There are chapters on "bond basics," types of bonds, risks facing the investor, and then inexplicably late in the book, chapters on credit ratings and using the internet. The latter is particularly weak chapter (Thau's isn't much better.) For whatever reasons, Crescenzi doesn't explain clearly how to use the internet to research individual bonds and check recent trades, and doesn't give the URLs of the sites that let you do this and purchase bonds.

If it sounds like the book is a bit of a hodge-podge, that's because it is. The book's organization leaves a lot to be desired, apart from the scope being too broad. Not only is the sequence of chapters mysterious, but there's a fair amount of repetition. While the writing itself is pretty lively, or at least conversational, I'm not sure Crescenzi has figured out his intended audience.
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Format: Hardcover
Unlike books addressing stock market investing, there are relatively few investor-oriented Bond books, probably due to several reasons - (i) bond concepts are somewhat more quantitative compared to stocks, (ii) bonds have no central "bond exchanges" with readily available price quotes, (iii) bonds can't be sold and bought as easily as stocks, (iv) perception is people can't "swing for the fences" with bonds.
However, as the "Strategic Bond Investor" makes clear, it is imperative to become familiar with bond market dynamics to understand how and why interest rates are set, which in turn affects the economy and the stock market. The book does a wonderful job of laying bare the intricacies of the bond market, at the same time stays away from the more technical aspects. The writing style is very engaging, and the content is very organized. The discussion on Bond Types - how big various types of bond markets are and how they got that way, is fascinating. So are practioner-oriented "rules of thumb" permeating several chapters. Chapter on "real yields" was a bit confusing (when inflation is expected to go up or down, why do real yields move as opposed to "expected inflation"?) I initially felt the visual presentation (charts, graphs, tables etc) was somewhat limited, but as the book progressed, it seemed to be just the right amount, and contained a lot of high impact information. There is a good appendix containing a primer on economic indicators. With this, you'd be better able to judge the reaction of the market to CPI, employment, consumer sentiment, etc., etc.
The book seemed somewhat repetitive at places, but still read well.
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Format: Hardcover
Although this book contains good information on types of bonds, yield curves and things that affect the bond market and interest rates, I found it disappointing. To me, it was overly wordy and sometimes repetitive. At times, I felt that I was slogging through molasses. My biggest disappointment was that it did not get into the specific bond investing actions that an individual like myself would take using the information presented. There was nothing about things that I was interested in i.e., bond laddering, bond mutual funds, convertible bonds, when to buy or sell short, intermediate and long term bonds, etc.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am more than halfway through the book, and thought I would share my thoughts.

First, this book is outstanding in terms of the depth of knowledge imparted. If you want to understand bonds in the context of today's market (especially with regard to the all-important Fed), this book is a MUST read. I am convinced that you will become a better investor. Imagine getting taught by one of the top bond managers at the top bond investment firm in the world! This is just that. So: If you're investing in bonds, this book is very important.

I would just say that this book is not an "idiots" guide. I am an intermediate-level investor, with a good vocabulary and a decent understanding of the financial markets. I feel like it's more of a book to train a professional bond portfolio manager. The math is fairly light (only one bit of calculus is introduced - convexity - and it is not vital to understand it in order to understand the book). However, some of the reading is tedious. I feel like the authors could have the benefit of a professional writer (say, a journalist) edit the book for clarity and simplicity.

That being said, if you really want an exhaustive overview of the current bond market, it's a very good book. It also has invaluable advice on how to understand the current market. Just be prepared to re-read paragraphs as you go through to make sure you understand. Also, there are concepts introduced early in the book (like market/quote depth) which are not explained until later. So if you find yourself confused, just hold on, the author will get around to explaining a term perhaps in the next few pages, or even more fully in a later chapter.
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