Retirement Answer Man

This is the third episode in our April series on bonds. On this episode, we discuss interest rates and how they affect bonds. One question we explore is, are interest rates the nemesis of bonds? To help me explore this question and explain a bit about bonds Chief Investment Strategist, John Lynch of LPL Financial joins me. Together we discuss rising inflation and interest rates and find out what this all really means for the economy and your portfolio. If you are worried about what rising interest rates mean for your portfolio then you’ll want to listen to John’s explanation

Interest rates are rising, but what does that mean?

Now that interest rates are rising everyone is in a panic, but the reality is that interest rates have been at a historic low and were dropping for more than 30 years. We still aren’t even back to normal levels. The Fed’s job is to control the rate at which interest rates rise and it ensures that they don’t rise too high too fast. So even though interest rates are rising it’s not the end of the world. Learn more about what rising interest rates mean to you by listening to this episode of Retirement Answer Man.

How do rising interest rates affect bonds?

Interest rates and bonds have an inverse relationship. When interest rates drop, bond returns increase. So now that interest rates are on the rise again after 37 years of falling, bond prices will probably fall. According to Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate, interest rates may continue to increase. These rising interest rates can seem scary for the bond market, but it may not be as scary as you think. Listen to this episode of Retirement Answer Man to learn how rising interest rates may affect the bonds in your portfolio.

Bad news for interest rates leads to good news

These rising interest rates seem like really bad news, but rising interest rates and inflation are actually good news for the economy. The economy is growing and employment rates are on the rise. Inflation means growth for the economy. The interest rates have been artificially low to stimulate the economy but now that the economy is moving again the Fed doesn’t have to keep interest rates artificially low. The Fed can now help them to rise slowly back to normal rates. Listen to this episode of Retirement Answer Man to hear how this bad news is actually good news all around.

What is duration?

Duration is the mathematical formula that indicates the value of a bond. It is the amount of time that an investor has to receive coupon payments to and get the principal back. It is a useful tool that investors use to measure risk or volatility. The benchmark used by financial professionals is Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate. Barclays predicts that long-term investors should not have a problem with interest rates and duration as long as bonds are used in a balanced approach to your portfolio. Listen to this episode of Retirement Answer Man to hear how and why you should still add bonds to your mix.


  • [1:22] Are rising interest rates the villains of bonds?


  • [5:36] Interest rates may rise faster than we are used to
  • [7:26] Meet John Lynch
  • [13:29] What do interest rates mean in terms of bond performance
  • [15:15] Bad news leads to good news


  • [22:44] What is the relationship between bonds and interest rates
  • [27:40] What is duration?


  • [33:03] Who is your favorite villain?


  • [34:49] Look at where you keep your cash reserves so that you don’t leave money on the table

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

John Lynch on LinkedIn

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Ask Roger a question

Work with Roger

3-video Series: 5 Minute Retirement Makeover

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

The Retirement Answer Man Facebook Page

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Direct download: RAM217.mp3
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