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What Types of Bonds Deliver the Best Returns?

We looked at the performance of all sorts of fixed-income securities over the past 50 years. Here’s what we found.

The author found that U.S. long-term debt does best of any bond category over the long run.Illustration: Alex Nabaum

By Derek Horstmeyer

With interest rates on the march this year, many investors are looking at bonds again, for the first time in 10-plus years, as a true income-delivering alternative to stocks.  

Indeed, while investors have exited equities along with the downturn in that sector, many have sought safety in short-term debt holdings such as money-market funds.

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