What are Bonds?

Bonds are fixed income securities issued by a borrower such as the Government or a Corporate when they borrow money from an investor. In exchange for taking this money (similar to a loan), the bond issuer promises to pay regular interest which is also known as coupon. The entire borrowed amount or principal is paid back at a pre-decided date called maturity.

Features of Bonds
Capital Preservation
Regular Interest Income
Low Market Volatility vs Equity
Portfolio Diversification
These are broad characteristics and will be different for each individual security. Benefits and features may be impacted by market conditions leading to different outcomes compared to expectations.

Important Terminology

Principal / Face ValueThis is the amount on which the interest payment is calculated. You will receive this amount on maturity
Coupon RateYou will receive this rate as interest every year. The actual payment is the coupon rate times face value.
Coupon FrequencyCoupons are paid at periodic intervals such as monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc. The annual coupon will be equally divided into these payments
Maturity DateYou will receive your principal back on this date along with the final coupon interest.
Yield and PriceYield is the effective interest rate that you make when you invest in a bond. Yield can be higher or lower than the coupon rate as yield is linked to the market rate of interest. If yield is higher than coupon rate, the bond price is lower than face value (because your actual interest payment will still be coupon rate) and vice versa.
Call OptionIn some bonds, there is an option for the issuer to pay the principal back before maturity. The dates for this option are fixed when the bond is issued first and cannot be changed later.
Secured / UnsecuredSecured bonds are backed by assets of the issuer. In case of default, these bonds have higher claim than others and hence are considered safer. Unsecured bonds are not backed by any assets
SenioritySenior bonds have higher claim on cashflows than other forms of debt and hence have better protection in case of default.

Frequently Asked Questions

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