The NASD has launched a new bond information Web site that includes real-time prices on corporate and municipal bonds.   
   The Smart Bond Investing site is located at and is free to the public.
   NASD says the creation of the site is partly due to a lack of education among investors on bonds. Nearly two out of every three corporate bond transactions now involve retail investors, according to the NASD, adding that surveys indicate a lack of knowledge among investors about bonds.
   An NASD survey revealed that almost 40% of investors own bonds or bond funds. The same survey showed that individual investors know little about how the bond markets work. For example, the survey indicated that only 40% of investors understand that bond prices fall as interest rates rise. Another 34% either thought there is no fee for buying or selling a bond, or they did not know whether they were paying a fee for bond transactions.
   "Bond markets, especially the corporate bond market, have been mostly a mystery to individual retail investors, who are increasingly important to those markets, and who find those markets increasingly important to them," said John Gannon, NASD's Vice President for Investor Education. "Individual investors who suffered major losses when the stock market fell have moved more of their money into the bond markets. And baby boomers are moving more and more of their assets from equities to bonds as they get closer to retirement. There's no doubt that retail investors need to be armed with more information and better education about bonds and bond investing."
   The Web site includes real-time transaction data, a listing of the most actively traded corporate bonds and educational information dealing with risk, how bonds are bought and sold and an explanation of different types of bonds.