Junk Bond


DEFINITION of 'Junk Bond'

A colloquial term for a high-yield or non-investment grade bond. Junk bonds are fixed-income instruments that carry a rating of 'BB' or lower by Standard & Poor's, or 'Ba' or below by Moody's. Junk bonds are so called because of their higher default risk in relation to investment-grade bonds.


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Junk bonds are risky investments, but have speculative appeal because they offer much higher yields than safer bonds. Companies that issue junk bonds typically have less-than-stellar credit ratings, and investors demand these higher yields as compensation for the risk of investing in them. A junk bond issued from a company that manages to turn its performance around for the better and has its credit rating upgraded will generally have a substantial price appreciation.

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  1. How are junk bonds rated differently by Standard & Poor's and Moody's?

    Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s give junk bonds lower credit ratings than investment grade bonds. Standard and Poor’s gives ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What can cause a security to go from investment grade to "junk" grade?

    The most common reason for a debt security downgrade from investment grade to junk grade is a negative change in the bond ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What role did junk bonds play in the financial crisis of 2007-08?

    Junk bonds were the at heart of the financial crisis of 2007-2008. Toxic assets related to the subprime housing market pushed ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Are high-yield bonds better investments than low-yield bonds?

    Most bonds typically make periodic payments, known as coupon payments, to the bondholder. A bond's indenture, which will ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What does investment grade mean?

    Credit ratings provide a useful measure for comparing fixed-income securities, such as bonds, bills and notes. Most companies ... Read Full Answer >>
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    The average Social Security disability benefit amount for a recipient of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in 2 ... Read Full Answer >>

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