Bond credit ratings 101 – Despite unfavorable press, ratings are still meaningful
Abstract: Credit rating agencies have been criticized for not providing adequate warning about risky securities. Despite their recent high-profile failings, credit ratings remain a useful tool for bond investors, as long as their limitations are understood. This article discusses the three major credit rating agencies and what the ratings indicate, so that the reader can make use of them while keeping their limitations in perspective. A sidebar discusses whether municipal bonds are still a good investment in today’s environment.