bond funds are no different then buying an individual bond .
as an example if a bond fund has a duration of 5 years and you paid 10 bucks and it paid 5%—if rates go to 6% then your fund value will fall to 9.50 but you will get 6% not 5% .
You may be right but my recent personal experience with bond funds indicates that bond funds are different than individual bonds.
I thought the point of having an asset allocation with a chunk of money in bonds was to provide capital preservation, but it sure didn't work that way with the long duration bond funds held within the retirement-target-year fund. And since the funds stopped paying income I don't think they are getting any kind of equivalent increase in value.
Also, bond funds are still different, but better IMO, for the high yield junk type bonds. I would not be able to buy enough variety on my own to mitigate risk, but I feel okay buying some of those bond funds.