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# Smart Bond Investing—Yield and Return

## Yield and Return

Yield is a general term that relates to the return on the capital you invest in the bond.

Smart Move When someone tells you a bond's yield is 7 percent, ask: "What definition of yield are you using?"

There are several definitions that are important to understand: coupon yield, current yield, yield-to-maturity, yield-to-call and yield-to-worst.

• Coupon yield is the annual interest rate established when the bond is issued. It's the same as the coupon rate and is the amount of income you collect on a bond, expressed as a percentage of your original investment. If you buy a bond for \$1,000 and receive \$45 in annual interest payments, your coupon yield is 4.5 percent. This amount is figured as a percentage of the bond's par value and will not change during the lifespan of the bond.

• Current yield is the bond's coupon yield divided by its market price. Here's the math on a bond with a coupon yield of 4.5 percent trading at 103 (\$1,030).

Say you check the bond's price later, and it's trading at 101 (\$1,010). The current yield has changed:

If you buy a new bond at par and hold it to maturity, your current yield when the bond matures will be the same as the coupon yield.

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Yields that Matter More

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