High-yield bonds can be a big help for clients looking to diversify their portfolios. These speculative-grade, or "junk bond," investments behave more like equities. Yet as fixed-income they enjoy a higher spot on an issuer's capital structure and, consequently, a level of safety that stocks don't offer.

Of course, many advisors are concerned that investors consider them as safe as other fixed-income securities while they can be far more volatile than Treasuries and in fact, incur substantial losses.

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