Just how safe are long-term municipal bonds?


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Author's Note: Just how safe are long-term municipal bonds?

I learned something surprising while researching this article, and that's how interesting municipal bonds can be. A new school under construction, a bridge being built, a state-of-the-art water treatment plant -- all of these things are happening around my community. And all are probably financed, at least in part, by municipal bonds. The idea of being able to make something possible, if only by being one of many individual lenders who buy into a bond, is one that appeals to me -- even if the project doesn't take place in my own backyard.

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Sources

  • Governing. "Bankrupt Cities, Municipalities List and Map." (Feb. 16, 2013) http://www.governing.com/gov-data/municipal-cities-counties-bankruptcies-and-defaults.html
  • Investopedia. "General Obligation Bond." (Feb. 16, 2013) http://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/generalobligationbond.asp
  • Investopedia. "Revenue Bond." (Feb. 16, 2013) http://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/revenuebond.asp
  • Investopedia. "The Basics of Municipal Bonds." Aug. 5, 2012. (Feb. 16, 2013) http://www.investopedia.com/articles/bonds/05/022805.asp
  • Kristof, Kathy. "Are Municipal Bonds Still Safe Investments?" Kiplinger. October 2012. (Feb. 16, 2013) http://www.kiplinger.com/article/investing/T052-C000-S002-are-municipal-bonds-still-safe-investments.html
  • Kristof, Kathy. "How to Buy Muni Bonds Safely." Kiplinger. October 2012. (Feb. 16, 2013) http://www.kiplinger.com/article/investing/T052-C000-S002-how-to-buy-muni-bonds-safely.html
  • Securities and Exchange Commission. "Municipal Bonds." (Feb. 15, 2013) http://www.sec.gov/answers/bondmun.htm
  • The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. "How Safe Are Municipal Bonds?" (Feb. 16, 2013) http://www.investinginbonds.com/learnmore.asp?catid=8&subcatid=53&id=235

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