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In Graphics: What Is a Stock? Successful investing can make you rich — or at the very least it is one step towards achieving your financial goals.

In Graphics: What Is a Stock?

But being a successful investor requires neither time-travel skills enabling you to purchase Google (GOOG) stock at $80 a pop, nor a crystal ball that will show you the next hot asset class. It simply requires knowledge and perseverance. To make investment choices that ultimately pay off, you need to start by knowing the fundamentals. In Graphics: What Is a Bond? Ever notice how nobody ever says “bonds and stocks”?

In Graphics: What Is a Bond?

In fact, ever heard anyone bring up bonds at a party and seen his listeners stick around? The more animated conversations always tend to revolve around stocks. Today, we’re putting the supposedly safe-and-boring part of your portfolio in the spotlight. The bond market is way bigger than the stock market and it’s time to get schooled, Bonds 101 style. In this infographic, we’llwalk you through how owning bonds makes you a little like a bank; the different kinds of bonds you’ll meet in your financial neighborhood; how to tell safe bonds from junk bonds; and why savvy Susie isn’t “interested” in buying Bob’s $1,000 bond for $1,000.

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