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.
Fund name 4th qtr. 1998 3-yr.*
Amer. Cent-Benham Tgt Mat 2020 17.1% 16.5% 11.1%
Phoenix Emer. Markets Bond A 16.8 -32.9 5.7
SEI Intl. Emer. Markets Debt A 16.0 -20.9 N/A
Alliance Global Dollar Govt. A 15.3 -22.0 5.8
GMO Emerging Country Debt III 13.2 -30.6 14.7
T. Rowe Price Emer. Markets Bond 12.8 -23.2 7.1
Summit Emerging Markets Bond 12.6 -22.5 N/A
N/A: not available
WHITNEY DODDS WOODRUFF