Individual Investing in Bond Markets in Europe
There are many types and varieties of individual bonds to choose from. In general, you will need to buy bonds through your stockbroker or banker. In some situations you will need to find a bond specialist to help you. Your financial advisor can also help you find a bond that matches your investment needs and expectations.
For some types of bonds and in some countries, individuals can also buy bonds online directly (gilts, for example, which are UK Government bonds) or through online brokers. The European corporate bond market has pioneered platforms that enable small investors to buy corporate bonds by placing orders through brokers, banks, or on the Internet. Minimum investment requirements are much lower than those for institutional corporate bond markets investors. Individual investors can now also consider whether investing online in the US bond markets is suitable for them-- individual investor participation is more common in US bond markets and individual Europeans can open online accounts with brokers.
If you are interested in purchasing a new bond issue that is not a government bond, your investment advisor will provide you with the security’s offering statement, or prospectus—the official document that explains the bond’s terms and features, as well as risks that investors should know about before investing. You can also buy and sell bonds which have already been issued in what is known as the secondary market. Again, you will need to consult your broker or banker.
For more information about pricing of European market bonds, see the Market at a Glance pages.
For information on U.S. Treasuries, corporates and other bonds in US markets, InvestinginbondsEurope’s sister site www.investinginbonds.com is a good place to start to find current information.