Bond funds

A growing number of investors moved into bond funds in 1998 seeking safety from a topsy-turvy stock market. But what most bond fund investors gained in safety they gave up in profits. For 1999, bond experts point to municipal bonds and high-yield junk bonds as good place to park your dollars, if you think interest rates will continue falling, pushing bond prices higher.

Below, the top-performing bond funds in the last quarter of 1998.

Total return

Fund name 4th qtr. 1998 3-yr.*

Amer. Cent-Benham Tgt Mat 2020 17.1% 16.5% 11.1%

800-345-2021

Phoenix Emer. Markets Bond A 16.8 -32.9 5.7

800-243-4361

SEI Intl. Emer. Markets Debt A 16.0 -20.9 N/A

800-342-5734

Alliance Global Dollar Govt. A 15.3 -22.0 5.8

800-221-5672

GMO Emerging Country Debt III 13.2 -30.6 14.7

617-330-7500

T. Rowe Price Emer. Markets Bond 12.8 -23.2 7.1

800-638-5660

Summit Emerging Markets Bond 12.6 -22.5 N/A

800-272-3442

Source: Morningstar

N/A: not available

*Annualized

WHITNEY DODDS WOODRUFF

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