What Is a Corporate Bond?

What Is a Corporate Bond?

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

A corporate bond is a form of debt security that a corporation issues to investors. These bonds are a promise by the issuing corporation to repay the principal loan amount to the bondholders, typically with periodic interest payments. The maturity period for corporate bonds can range from a few years to 30 years or more. Investors who buy corporate bonds are essentially lending money to the corporation in exchange for these interest payments. The funds raised from these bonds are often used for various corporate activities like funding capital expenditures, operations, or acquisitions.

Related Questions

1. How do corporate bonds work?

When a corporation sells bonds, it promises to pay the buyer a certain interest rate over a specified period. At the end of this period, also known as the bond’s maturity date, the corporation will also pay back the bond’s face value to the bondholder. This provides a predictable return for investors.

2. Are corporate bonds a good investment?

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Corporate bonds can be a good investment because they generally offer higher interest rates compared to government bonds. However, they’re not without risks. The major risk comes if the issuing corporation falls into financial hardship and defaults on their payments.

3. What is the difference between corporate bonds and stocks?

Stocks represent ownership in a company, while corporate bonds are loans to the company. When you buy stocks, you become a part owner and can benefit from the company’s profits. With bonds, you lend money to the company for a certain period and receive interest payments.

4. What is the risk involved in investing in corporate bonds?

The main risk when investing in corporate bonds is default risk. This is the risk that the company issuing the bond might not be able to pay the interest or repay the principal at maturity. Corporate bonds are rated by credit rating agencies, and higher-rated bonds often have a lower default risk.

5. How can I buy corporate bonds?

You can buy corporate bonds either directly from the issuer when they are issued (primary market), or from other investors after they are issued (secondary market). Corporate bonds are typically bought and sold through brokers or investment funds.