Any wise investor would agree that municipal bonds ratings do cover a lot of influence in affecting the interest cost on bonds. The rating of these bonds often coincides with these factors: economy, financial condition, debt structure, demographic factors, and practices in management by the administration and governing body. To ensure that you are investing in the right bonds it is of great importance for you to know where to find these ratings.
1. Know which bond to look for. These may come from your researches or by suggestions of people around you
2. You can decide where to research. Facts are usually available online and on public libraries. If you don’t have the luxury of time and needs to get details in the shortest possible time, the need can be a useful search engine for this.
3. To find rates online: Bloomberg Academic and Bloomberg professional.
- For state issued bonds type STGO then press GO.
- For city issued bonds type CTGO then press GO.
Other website that can offer useful information about municipal bond ratings include: bondsonline.com, fmsbonds.com can also provide bond news other than bond ratings.
4. To find ratings in public and university libraries, Harvard’s Baker library is a good and reliable source. Of course there are other local and public libraries that provide as much information as well and contains a fair stock of finance related books and articles. You can find what you are looking for under the financial reference and book records section examples of book titles include: "Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms," "Standard & Poor’s Guide to Personal Finance," or "Business Rankings Annual."
5. Utilize rating agencies. For municipal bonds, there are 3 major rating agencies: Standard & Poor’s, Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service. These agencies can provide you up to 80% of all municipal and corporate bonds. You can either contact them or check their investor service websites for up to date news on municipal bond ratings.
6. Sign in to MunicipalBonds.com. This is a leading site for municipal bond investors. This site can offer you valuable information on monthly updated municipal bond ratings from S&P and Moody’s. Not to mention tips on how a budding municipal bind investor can survive in this endeavor.
7. Join bond investor forums. These can be areas for growth and learning for you as a municipal bond investor. You can also find here useful information about where to look reliably for municipal bond ratings.
After you have conducted your researches about the current municipal bond rating it will be up to you to venture on bonds. Just be reminded that the ratings can be accurate and inaccurate both at the same time. There are a lot of websites online and books on the finance section which can guide you in understanding where these ratings are coming from more than knowing just where to find them. You will do well by knowing more information other than what these search engines have presented to you. Because not knowing how to read bond ratings will render your search useless in front of you.