How Can I Access the Global Bond Market?

How Can I Access the Global Bond Market?

What if I told you that direct access to the global bond market is also possible for small investors? For example, what if I told you that you could access Eurobonds issued by the Turkish Treasury, nearly 40 thousand corporate bonds globally, or Eurobonds of other countries with a computer and the internet? Are you excited? πŸ™‚ Yes, it is possible. Today I will show you how you can do all these things using the bond interface of Interactive Brokers (IBKR). A word of caution before we start, your investment scale is essential. Some bonds you can buy in multiples of $1,000 or $2,000, while others you can trade in multiples of $100,000 or $200,000. However, at $1,000 and multiples, you have access to many bonds as a small investor. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Eurobonds to the global bond market

So far, I have bought Eurobonds issued by the Turkish Treasury using my account at a local brokerage house. However, buying them with our Interactive Brokers investment account is also possible. First, we open IBKR‘s client portal. At the bottom of the page, under the ‘Markets‘ heading, there is a ‘Bond Scanner‘ (bond filter). Click on this tab.

Bond screening
Bond screening

We see the screen below. From the screenshot in question, you can see that different bond products are tabbed. For example, the ‘Global Corporate Bonds‘ option shows 39,165 financial assets. What interests us at this stage is ‘Non-US Sovereign Bonds‘. In other words, non-US sovereign bonds. There are 2,804 options under this heading. Let’s click on this tab now.

Bond scanner
Bond scanner

We see a screening/filtering screen below. We have options such as maturity, the total rate of return until maturity, coupon rate, issuing country, and currency.

Non-US government bonds
Non-US government bonds

Turkish Treasury

Select ‘Turkey‘ as the country option to find the Turkish Treasury Eurobonds we can access.

Turkish Treasury Eurobond screening - I
Turkish Treasury Eurobond screening – I

Let’s choose ‘USD‘ as the currency. As a side note, the Treasury has issued Eurobonds denominated in Euros and Yen.

Turkish Treasury Eurobond screening - II
Turkish Treasury Eurobond screening – II

When we press the ‘View Results‘ button at the bottom, the bonds we can trade appear as shown below.

Turkish Treasury Eurobond screening - III
Turkish Treasury Eurobond screening – III

Sample purchase

First, I sorted the bonds by maturity for convenience. Then I chose the Treasury Eurobond with a maturity of January 15, 2030, and a coupon rate of 11.875%.

Turkish Treasury Eurobond screening - IV
Turkish Treasury Eurobond screening – IV

A screen like this popped up. As you can see, there is information about the purchase and sale price and a graph of the total return until maturity.

Turkish Treasury Eurobond screening - V
Turkish Treasury Eurobond screening – V

The next step is to click on the ‘Buy‘ button. The order window opens on the right. When we look here, it says ‘Thousand & Face Value.’ So we can buy and sell this bond in multiples of 1,000 dollars πŸ™‚

Turkish Treasury Eurobond screening - VI
Turkish Treasury Eurobond screening – VI

However, we may only sometimes be so lucky. For example, let’s look at another Treasury Eurobond similarly. As you can see, the bond with a maturity of February 17, 2045, sells for $200,000 and multiples on this platform. However, it is possible to trade in multiples of 1,000 or 2,000 dollars and multiples on different maturities that I have opened randomly.

Turkish Treasury Eurobond screening - VII
Turkish Treasury Eurobond screening – VII

Other governments

Similarly, we can look at the Eurobonds of other countries. For example, let’s look at Brazil instead of Turkey. Below is Brazil’s dollar-denominated bond dated June 6, 2025. Oops! Unfortunately, it is traded in multiples of 200k πŸ™

Brazilian Eurobond - June 6, 2025
Brazilian Eurobond – June 6, 2025

Global corporate bond market

So far, we have focused on government bonds, but there is much more choice in corporate bonds. Let’s look at US corporate bonds with investment-grade ratings in this context. Let’s see what we find.

US company bond screening - I
US company bond screening – I

The system gave us 14,581 different bond choices, as shown in the picture below. Let’s look at one at random. The second-ranked Nordstrom Inc. bond, with a maturity of January 15, 2044, should do the trick.

US company bond screening - II
US company bond screening – II

Surprise! It seems possible to buy this bond in multiples of 2,000 dollars πŸ™‚ When I googled it, this bond has a yield close to 5% until maturity and a coupon rate of 5%. The company has been operating in the retail garment industry since 1901.

US company bond screening - III
US company bond screening – III

As a result

Direct access to the global bond market is possible. Of course, as small investors, our options are more limited as our scale allows us to trade in multiples of a few thousand dollars. Still, we can buy hundreds or even thousands of bonds. A word of caution at this point: Bonds are not risk-free assets. Primarily corporate and emerging market bonds. Therefore, buying bonds through ETFs is safer than buying individual bonds. The chances of losing your capital are close to zero.

On the other hand, there is an option for those who want to take risks by investing directly in the global bond market. And you don’t need to have 100s of thousands of dollars. This article explains how to do it at the most basic level. I hope it was worthwhile.

I hope to see you in the following article.

Recommendations

Thank you for your interest in breakingthetreadmill.com. Below are some services that I find pretty helpful. It might work for you, too. I suggest you check it out. Best wishes.

You may use Wise to make low-cost money transfers to overseas brokerage houses or to withdraw money at low cost via a multi-currency Visa debit card.

With Interactive Brokers, you can access 135 markets in 33 countries using 23 different currencies. You can trade stocks, bonds, options, futures, FX, and funds at a very low cost. I’ve been using it for about four years. Open an investment account at Interactive Brokers.

 

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