The term yield is used to describe the return on your investment as a percentage of your original investment. Yield is the ratio of annual dividends divided by the share price. The yield can be calculated based on dividends paid over the past year or dividend expectations for the next. In the case of a bond, the yield refers to the annual return on an investment. The yield on a bond is based on both the purchase price of the bond and the interest promised — also known as the coupon payment. As a result, after bonds are issued, they trade at premiums or discounts to their face values until they mature and return to full face value.

- Bond prices, rates, and yields
- Comparing Yield To Maturity And The Coupon Rate
- Bond Yield-to-Maturity
- Difference Between Yield to Maturity and Coupon Rate
- What’s the Difference Between Premium Bonds and Discount Bonds?
- Member Sign In
- Yield and Maturity
- Yield to maturity
- What Is the Difference Between Yield to Maturity & Required Return on a Bond?

## Bond prices, rates, and yields

Most bonds are issued with a fixed interest set in dollars that the issuer promises to pay to the bondholder annually until maturity. Once issued, bonds trade in the secondary market. Their prices fluctuate depending on interest rates, credit rating changes, the financial affairs of the issuer and general market conditions. A year bond may have only 10 years left until maturity, which will also affect the amount of money the investor will have collected.

The bond has 10 years left until maturity. The difference is accounted for as a loss prorated annually, in this case: Yield to maturity is always less than the interest rate when a bond is traded at a premium and more when the bond is traded at a discount. Based in San Diego, Slav Fedorov started writing for online publications in , specializing in stock trading. He has worked in financial services for more than 20 years, serving as a banker, financial planner and stockbroker.

Now working as a professional trader, Fedorov is also the founder of a stock-picking company. Share It. Market Rate. How to Calculate Current Yield. How to Convert U. How to Calculate the Call Price of a Bond. How Does Bond Interest Work? About the Author Based in San Diego, Slav Fedorov started writing for online publications in , specializing in stock trading.

Photo Credits finanzen, dollar image by mbs from Fotolia.

## Comparing Yield To Maturity And The Coupon Rate

The yield-to-maturity is possibly one of the most critical figures to look at when assessing a bond for investment, since that represents a fairly good approximation of the rate of return that an investor could receive from holding a bond to maturity. However, investors may be confused given that bonds also have coupons , which are a known quantity for each bond issue. While the two figures are related, it is perhaps important to highlight the key differences between the two. As a rule of thumb, if an investor buys a bond above par value eg. Conversely, if an investor buys a bond at a discount to par value eg.

Beginning bond investors have a significant learning curve ahead of them that can be pretty daunting, but they can take heart in knowing that it s manageable when it s taken in steps. It s onward and upward after you master this.

A bond s coupon rate is the rate of interest it pays annually, while its yield is the rate of return it generates. A bond s coupon rate is expressed as a percentage of its par value. The par value is simply the face value of the bond or the value of the bond as stated by the issuing entity. Coupon rates are largely influenced by the interest rates set by the government.

### Bond Yield-to-Maturity

The bond price can be calculated using the present value approach. Bond valuation is the determination of the fair price of a bond. As with any security or capital investment, the theoretical fair value of a bond is the present value of the stream of cash flows it is expected to generate. In practice, this discount rate is often determined by reference to similar instruments, provided that such instruments exist. Bond Price: Bond price is the present value of coupon payments and face value paid at maturity. The bond price can be summarized as the sum of the present value of the par value repaid at maturity and the present value of coupon payments.

### Difference Between Yield to Maturity and Coupon Rate

When you buy a bond, either directly or through a mutual fund, you re lending money to the bond s issuer, who promises to pay you back the principal or par value when the loan is due on the bond s maturity date. In the meantime, the issuer also promises to pay you periodic interest payments to compensate you for the use of your money. The rate at which the issuer pays you—the bond s stated interest rate or coupon rate—is generally fixed at issuance. An inverse relationship When new bonds are issued, they typically carry coupon rates at or close to the prevailing market interest rate. Interest rates and bond prices have an inverse relationship; so when one goes up, the other goes down. The question is: How does the prevailing market interest rate affect the value of a bond you already own or a bond you want to buy from or sell to someone else? The answer lies in the concept of opportunity cost. Investors constantly compare the returns on their current investments to what they could get elsewhere in the market. As market interest rates change, a bond s coupon rate—which, remember, is fixed—becomes more or less attractive to investors, who are therefore willing to pay more or less for the bond itself.

### What’s the Difference Between Premium Bonds and Discount Bonds?

Bonds can prove extremely helpful to anyone concerned about capital preservation and income generation. Bonds also may help partially offset the risk that comes with equity investing and often are recommended as part of a diversified portfolio. They can be used to accomplish a variety of investment objectives. These concepts are important to grasp whether you are investing in individual bonds or bond funds. The primary difference between these two ways of investing in bonds also is important to understand: When you invest in a bond fund, however, the value of your investment fluctuates daily — your principal is at risk.

## Member Sign In

Important legal information about the email you will be sending. By using this service, you agree to input your real email address and only send it to people you know. It is a violation of law in some jurisdictions to falsely identify yourself in an email. All information you provide will be used by Fidelity solely for the purpose of sending the email on your behalf. The subject line of the email you send will be "Fidelity. If you buy a new bond and plan to keep it to maturity, changing prices, interest rates, and yields typically do not affect you, unless the bond is called. But investors don t have to buy bonds directly from the issuer and hold them until maturity; instead, bonds can be bought from and sold to other investors on what s called the secondary market. Bond prices on the secondary market can be higher or lower than the face value of the bond because the current economic environment and market conditions will affect the price investors are actually willing to pay for the bond. And the bond s yield, or the expected return on the bond, may also change.

### Yield and Maturity

Yield to maturity YTM measures the annual return an investor would receive if he or she held a particular bond until maturity. To understand YTM, one must first understand that the price of a bond is equal to the present value of its future cash flows, as shown in the following formula:. To calculate the lien , the investor then uses a financial calculator or software to find out what percentage rate r will make the present value of the bond s cash flows equal to today s selling price. Note that because the coupon payments are semiannual, this is the YTM for six months. To annualize the rate while adjusting for the reinvestment of interest payments, we simply use this formula:. YTM allows investors to compare a bond s expected return with those of other securities. Understanding how yields vary with market prices that as bond prices fall, yields rise; and as bond prices rise, yields fall also helps investors anticipate the effects of market changes on their portfolios. Further, YTM helps investors answer questions such as whether a year bond with a high yield is better than a 5-year bond with a high coupon. Although YTM considers the three sources of potential return from a bond coupon payments, capital gains , and reinvestment returns , some analysts consider it inappropriate to assume that the investor can reinvest the coupon payments at a rate equal to the YTM.

Internal rate of return IRR and yield to maturity are calculations used by companies to assess investments, but they refer to different things. Here s what each term means, and an example of when it might be used.

### Yield to maturity

Show less Yield to Maturity YTM for a bond is the total return, interest plus capital gain, obtained from a bond held to maturity. It is expressed as a percentage and tells investors what their return on investment will be if they purchase the bond and hold on to it until the bond issuer pays them back. It is difficult to calculate a precise YTM, but you can approximate its value by using a bond yield table or one of the many online calculators for YTM. To calculate the approximate yield to maturity, write down the coupon payment, the face value of the bond, the price paid for the bond, and the number of years to maturity. Plug these figures into the ApproximateYTM formula, then solve the equation as you normally would to get your answer! To learn how to calculate yield to maturity using trial and error, read on! This article was co-authored by Michael R. Michael R. Lewis is a retired corporate executive, entrepreneur, and investment advisor in Texas.

### What Is the Difference Between Yield to Maturity & Required Return on a Bond?

Yield is a critical concept in bond investing, because it is the tool you use to measure the return of one bond against another. It enables you to make informed decisions about which bond to buy. In essence, yield is the rate of return on your bond investment. It changes to reflect the price movements in a bond caused by fluctuating interest rates. Here is an example of how yield works: You buy a bond, hold it for a year while interest rates are rising, and then sell it. The current yield is the annual return on the dollar amount paid for a bond, regardless of its maturity. If you buy a bond at par, the current yield equals its stated interest rate. However, if the market price of the bond is more or less than par, the current yield will be different.

You ve heard that bonds are a solid investment choice for the risk adverse, but when you started investigating bonds you came up against unfamiliar terms like "yield to maturity" and "required return. Bond investors analyze bond prices and interest rates to determine the best times to buy and sell. Knowing the difference between yield to maturity and the required return on a bond, as well as the correlation between the two, can help you to gain a deeper understanding of bond investments. Companies and government entities set different bond interest rates at different times. Bond interest rates are set by the market, by a consensus of buyers and sellers. Because of this, bond investors need to analyze the long-term value of bond investments based on their total payout and their value in relation to interest rates offered in the future. Yield to maturity is a measure of what a bond investment will earn over its life. Expressed as a percentage, yield to maturity sheds light on the annual real rate of return offered by bonds with specific interest rates compared with other bonds on the market. Since yield to maturity requires extensive permutations, online yield calculators can be the best way to make quick calculations. The required rate of return on a bond is the interest rate that a bond issuer must offer in order to get investors interested. Required returns are predominantly set by market forces, and is determined by the price at which issuers and investors agree. Established companies with longstanding reputations and local governments may be able to get away with paying slightly lower interest rates than the market rate.

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