Preferred Habitat Theory

Definition of 'Preferred Habitat Theory'


A term structure theory suggesting that different bond investors prefer one maturity length over another and are only willing to buy bonds outside of their maturity preference if a risk premium for the maturity range is available. The theory also suggests that when all else is equal investors prefer to hold short-term bonds in place of long-term bonds and that the yields on longer term bonds should be higher than shorter term bonds.

Investopedia explains 'Preferred Habitat Theory'


The preferred habitat theory is an expansion on the expectations theory which suggests that long-term yields are an estimate of the future expected short-term yields. The reasoning behind the expectations theory is that bond investors only care about yield and are willing to buy bonds of any maturity, which in theory would mean a flat term structure unless expectations are for rising rates. The preferred habitat theory expands on the expectation theory by saying that bond investor's care about both maturity and return. It suggests that short-term yields will almost always be lower than long-term yields due to an added premium needed to entice bond investors to purchase not only longer term bonds, but bonds outside of their maturity preference.


Filed Under:

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Takeover

    A corporate action where an acquiring company makes a bid for an acquiree. If the target company is publicly traded, the acquiring company will make an offer for the outstanding shares.
  2. Harvest Strategy

    A strategy in which investment in a particular line of business is reduced or eliminated because the revenue brought in by additional investment would not warrant the expense. A harvest strategy is employed when a line of business is considered to be a cash cow, meaning that the brand is mature and is unlikely to grow if more investment is added.
  3. Stop-Limit Order

    An order placed with a broker that combines the features of stop order with those of a limit order. A stop-limit order will be executed at a specified price (or better) after a given stop price has been reached. Once the stop price is reached, the stop-limit order becomes a limit order to buy (or sell) at the limit price or better.
  4. Pareto Principle

    A principle, named after economist Vilfredo Pareto, that specifies an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. The principle states that, for many phenomena, 20% of invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained. Put another way, 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes.
  5. Pareto Principle

    A principle, named after economist Vilfredo Pareto, that specifies an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. The principle states that, for many phenomena, 20% of invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained. Put another way, 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes.
  6. Budget Deficit

    A status of financial health in which expenditures exceed revenue. The term "budget deficit" is most commonly used to refer to government spending rather than business or individual spending. When referring to accrued federal government deficits, the term "national debt” is used.
Trading Center