Accoring to Investopedia, a bond trader is "A broker who executes over-the-counter bond trades between institutional investors (bond traders). Bond brokers act as an intermediary between institutional investors to keep the identities of the other parties anonymous. Brokers communicate with traders on telephone and over the internet to obtain quotes from both parties."
A Bond is a loan made from an issuer to a holder. In the real world, bonds are typically issued by a company to raise money. The company then agrees to pay back the amount, with interest, to the financers of the bond. The financers can be other corporations, or in the case of US Savings Bonds, they can be individual investors. Bonds can be rendered worthless if the issuer declares bankruptcy or defaults on the repayment terms.
There are three basic types of bonds:
There are three clases of Government Bonds, depending on the maturity date.
Government bonds are the safest type of bond investment because governments rarely go bankrupt. Since government bonds are the safest type of bond investment, they offer the lowest interest rates of any of the bond types.
Municipal Bond, also known as "munis", are typically issued by cities. Since cities rarely go bankrupt, they are the next safest type of bond investment.
Corporate Bonds are loans to companies that want to raise cash. Since companies can (and do) go bankrupt at a higher rate than governments or cities, these types of bonds carry a larger degree of risk. Since there is a higher risk of not receiving repayment, the interest rates are considerably higher for corporate bonds than government or muni bonds. Maturity length can vary greatly from under 5 years to over twelve years.
Withing corporate bonds, interest rates will vary wildly as well. A well-established company with a sound financial base will expect to pay less interest that a new unproven company that has very little financial history.
Bond Trader Links
How to become a commercial bond trader: investopedia.com/ask/answers/09/bond-broker-certification.asp
How to read bond prices: learnbonds.com/how-to-read-a-bond-quote
What are Junk Bonds: news.morningstar.com/classroom2/course.asp?docId=5401&page=2
Bonds in a retirement plan: money.cnn.com/retirement/guide/investing_bonds.moneymag/index4.htm
How to buy US Savings Bonds Online: treasurydirect.gov/readysavegrow/start_saving/buying_bonds.htm