Financial Leader and Youth Sports Coach
About Brian Zwerner
After earning his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Brian Zwerner joined the financial services industry as an associate marketing derivatives. During the nearly 20 years since, he has risen within the industry and today serves as a Senior Vice President at FIG Partners, an Atlanta-based broker/dealer that works with regional and community banks. At FIG, Brian Zwerner launched the fixed-income trading division, which at the time represented a new avenue of business for the firm.
Fixed-income securities are debt obligations of the issuer, who is legally obligated to make periodic interest payments according to a set schedule. The most common example of fixed-income securities are bonds, which are issued by corporations and governments to raise money for specific purposes from the public, as opposed to borrowing from a bank. Most bonds are issued for a specific period of time, which is usually several years, and continue to earn interest until the end of that period, called the maturity date. On the maturity date, the bond issuer makes the final interest payment to the bond owner and also pays back the principal amount of the bond.
Investors can purchase bonds at the time they are issued, and they can also buy or sell them on the secondary market. There is generally less uncertainty associated with bonds relative to equities, and their prices on the open market are usually less volatile than stocks. Stocks reflect a company’s value and carry the potential to return investors far more than what they originally invested; they also carry the potential to lose value quickly, a risk generally not associated with fixed-income securities.
Bonds issued by municipal or state governments, as well as by the U.S. government and its agencies, generally pay a lower interest rate because their interest payments carry significant tax advantages. The interest paid on corporate bonds is subject to income tax, and the decision to purchase corporate or government bonds generally includes consideration of tax issues. Most advisors recommend that an investment portfolio include some fixed-income securities.