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Convertible bonds are corporate bonds that give you the alternative of converting their value into common stock of that company or redeeming them for cash when they mature.
The details governing the conversion, such as the number of shares of stock you would receive, are set when the bonds are issued.
A convertible bond has a double appeal for investors. Its market value goes up if the stock price rises, but falls only to what it would be as a conventional bond if the stock price falls. In other words, the upside potential is considered greater than the downside risk.
While convertible bonds typically provide lower yields than conventional bonds from the same issuer, they may provide higher yields than the underlying stock.
You can buy convertibles through a broker or choose a mutual fund that invests in them.