Book Review: Investing In The High Yield Municipal Market

by: David Merkel, CFA

Triet Nguyen's 'Investing In The High Yield Municipal Market' is a very good book. It is also a hard book, so I don't think many of my readers will benefit from it.

Score yourself:

  • How well you do understand bonds?

  • How well do you understand muni bonds?

  • How much do you understand about credit analysis?

  • Do you understand how municipal credit is different from corporate credit, including how the bankruptcy code works in each case?

If you are positive on three or four of those questions, this book will help you. If positive on two, it might help you. If less, forget it. This is a book for those that have some knowledge of bonds generally and municipal bonds in particular.

I learned a lot from this book, but I have a lot of experience with bonds. This book is a hybrid. It is written mostly by the author, who recruited experts to write specialty chapters.

Here is my main misgiving on the book: In order to invest in high yield municipals, you really need an adviser next to you to guide you. Even though the book says a lot of true things, there is no replacement for the person sitting next to you, who corrects you in "real time."

Aside from what is written in this book, if you are willing to put in a lot of time to understand the high yield muni market, you could do quite well. But this is not adequate for average investors - I don't think any book could be for high yield munis.

But the book is a really good introduction to the high yield muni market. If you understand that it is only an introduction, the book will be valuable to you as you search for more knowledge. This book is great, but it is not enough. I don't think any book could be enough, because there are a lot of complexities in these markets, and who would pay for a 2,000 page book?


Already expressed.

Who would benefit from this book: If you want to get an introduction the the high yield municipal bond market, you will benefit from this book. If you want to, you can buy it here.

Full disclosure: I asked the publisher for the book, and he sent it.

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