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Investing in bonds is now much easier for private investors thanks to the launch in 2010 of the London Stock Exchange's retail bond market (ORB). A by-product of the credit crunch is that cash-starved companies and yield hungry investors have helped create a new market for non-bank finance and bond issuance has picked up as smaller- and medium-sized companies diversify their funding requirements.

As with any novel investment, the need to understand the basics of what is on offer is more important than ever, particularly as corporate bonds are often confused with term-limited cash savings accounts which often go by the same name. Hopefully, this guide will give you enough tips on the basics of trading in bonds to build a durable portfolio and avoid some of the pitfalls of an asset class which hasn't featured much in the UK investment landscape for some decades.

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