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What Is the Bond Market Crash and How to Get Ready for It



Bond Market Crash

A market crash is indicated by a sharp and abrupt drop in bond prices. Study up on the ways that economic conditions and high-interest rates can drive down bond prices.

What is a bond market crash?

Company and government debt are both available on the bond market. Bond prices that drop quickly indicate an impending bond market catastrophe. Within the global economy, bonds are important. In 2022, the size difference between the bond and equity markets was about 25%. You can therefore expect some kind of reaction from your investment account if the bond market declines or crashes. Investors who have a large percentage of their portfolio in bonds, such as those who are close to retirement, may find this to be especially concerning.

Why did the Treasury bond market crash in 2022 and 2023?

Bond prices and interest rates are inversely related. Bonds lose market value (price) when interest rates rise. The bond market may collapse as a result of a Federal Reserve increase in the federal funds rate. This occurs as a result of newly issued bonds having higher interest rates than previously issued bonds, which drives down the secondary market prices of older bonds. This is referred to as interest rate risk by bondholders. Early in 2023, Silicon Valley Bank collapsed and was heavily sold off as a result of the Treasury bond market crash brought on by rising interest rates in 2022.

When a high-quality bond matures, you should still get your initial investment back if you hold it the whole time. Bondholders who sell their bonds before they mature, particularly those with longer maturities, are most affected by interest rate risk.

Bond risks

In an investment portfolio, bonds are often seen as a less hazardous complement to the volatility of stocks. If held to maturity, U.S. Treasurys—more especially, Treasury bills and Treasury notes—are the gold standard for almost risk-free investments. Because of this, the 10-year Treasury yield is frequently used as a gauge of the state of the economy.

However, this does not negate the risks associated with investing in Treasurys or bonds, including interest rate risk, particularly if you intend to sell the bonds before they mature. That’s because interest rates and the overall state of the economy continue to have a significant impact on bonds.

How to prepare for a bond crash


Economic shocks are transient and frequently inevitable. In any case, diversifying your investments by distributing your funds among a variety of asset classes can help lower the risks connected to any particular asset. Having bonds of various kinds and maturities can also lessen one’s exposure to interest rate risk.

One easy and affordable way to diversify your bond portfolio is to purchase a large number of bonds packaged together in bond funds. For instance, since interest rates usually rise or fall gradually over months and years, short-term bond funds are less vulnerable to interest rate risk. Simply put, interest rate risk has less time to manifest itself in bonds with shorter durations.

Long-term investors who are more than five years from their money goals:

Predicting a crash is difficult, if not impossible. However, you can prepare your mind for how to react if and when it occurs. If at all possible, try to avoid selling when the market is down. Recall that selling locks in your losses. There won’t be a perpetual bond market crash, and you don’t want to be left behind when the market recovers.

Short-term investors getting close to their financial goals:

Bond crashes can have a big effect on investors who are getting close to their financial goal, like someone who is almost retirement age. One way to manage your finances is to put some of the money you need into short-term investments like money market funds, certificates of deposit (CDs), and short-term bond funds that are less susceptible to interest rate risk.

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