Now you know the basics of bonds. Not too complicated, is it? Here is a recap of what we discussed:
  • Bonds are just like IOUs. Buying a bond means you are lending out your money.
  • Bonds are also called fixed-income securities because the cash flow from them is fixed.
  • Stocks are equity; bonds are debt.
  • The key reason to purchase bonds is to diversify your portfolio.
  • The issuers of bonds are governments and corporations.
  • A bond is characterized by its face value, coupon rate, maturity and issuer.
  • Yield is the rate of return you get on a bond.
  • When price goes up, yield goes down, and vice versa.
  • When interest rates rise, the price of bonds in the market falls, and vice versa.
  • Bills, notes and bonds are all fixed-income securities classified by maturity.
  • Government bonds are the safest bonds, followed by municipal bonds, and then corporate bonds.
  • Bonds are not risk free. It's always possible - especially in the case of corporate bonds - for the borrower to default on the debt payments.
  • High-risk/high-yield bonds are known as junk bonds.
  • You can purchase most bonds through a brokerage or bank. If you are a U.S. citizen, you can buy government bonds through TreasuryDirect.
  • Often, brokers will not charge a commission to buy bonds but will mark up the price instead.





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