What Is a Bond Yield?

What Is a Bond Yield?

By Charles Joseph | Editor, Financial Affairs
Reviewed by Corey Michael | Senior Financial Analyst

A bond yield refers to the return an investor gets on their bond investments. Essentially, it is the amount of money, in terms of percentage, earned from an investment in bonds. Bond yield is typically calculated annually as a ratio of the bond’s annual interest payment and its current market price. There are two main types of bond yields: Current Yield (interest income relative to the bond’s current price) and Yield to Maturity (total return you expect to receive if the bond is held until it matures). Both these yields give investors an insight into the potential earnings they can expect from their bond investments.

Related Questions

1. How is bond yield calculated?

The bond yield is calculated by dividing the annual interest payment of the bond by its current market price. Therefore, if the interest payment is $50 and the current market price is $1000, the yield would be 5%.

2. What is the difference between bond yield and bond coupon?

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The bond coupon refers to the fixed amount of interest paid by the bond issuer to the bondholder annually. Bond yield, on the other hand, refers to the return on investment the bondholder receives. Therefore, while the bond coupon remains fixed, the bond yield may change depending on the market condition.

3. Is it better to invest in high yield bonds?

High yield bonds offer higher returns compared to low yield bonds. However, they also come with a higher risk. Therefore, whether it is better to invest in high yield bonds depends on the individual’s risk tolerance and investment objectives.

4. How does bond yield affect bond price?

The bond yield and bond price move in opposite directions. This means when the bond yield increases, the bond price decreases, and vice versa.

5. Can a bond have a negative yield?

Yes, a bond can have a negative yield especially in periods of ultra-low interest rates. This essentially means investors are willing to pay for holding the bond rather than be paid through interest payments. This typically happens when investors believe that despite the negative yield, bonds can offer capital appreciation as prices increase.