Bonds of different maturities can be traded to take advantage of the yield curve, which plots the interest rates of bonds having equal credit quality but differing maturity dates. Bond investment depends on an investor’s circumstances, goals, and risk tolerance. Low-yield bonds may be better for investors who want a virtually risk-free asset, or one who is hedging a mixed portfolio by keeping a portion of it in a low-risk asset. High-yield bonds may be better suited for investors who are willing to accept a degree of risk in return for a higher return. In the previous examples, it was assumed that the bond had exactly five years left to maturity when it was sold, which is rare.

Furthermore, specific types of yield calculation are more or less appropriate depending on the type of bond or fixed-income security that is being analyzed. Some of these different types of bond yields include among others, the so called running yield, nominal yield, yield to maturity (YTM), yield to call (YTC) and yield to worst (YTW). If you’re an investor focused on fixed-income securities, the prospect of a discount bond is an enticing one.

- As noted above, there are additional calculations of a bond’s yield.
- Additional calculations of a bond’s yield include yield to maturity (YTM) among others.
- The purchase price of the bond is, as the name indicates, the price the investor paid for acquiring the bond.
- The five coupon payments plus the $1,000 maturity value are the bond’s six cash flows.
- If interest rates rise, investors can get a higher coupon rate on new bonds so existing bonds become less valuable.

An issuer’s credit rating or the bond covenant rating can also signal problems. As a result, a skittish investor might offload the bond before it becomes at risk for default. More risk tolerant investors will swoop in and buy the bond at a discount. Understanding bond yields is a prerequisite for trading in bond markets. Bond yields can also serve as harbingers of future movements in both bond and equity markets. If interest rates were to fall, say from 5% to 3%, the bond’s price would rise because its coupon payment is more attractive.

## Current Yield

To truly understand how the bond equivalent yield formula works, it’s important to know the basics of bonds in general and to grasp how bonds differ from stocks. For example, comparing the nominal yield of two different bonds is only truly helpful when the bonds have the same cost, same life span and same return. However, if any of these are different, the YTM measure becomes a more effective comparison tool. While relatively simple, this formula is often built into financial calculators for convenience. Simply input the variables and compare the BEY output to other fixed-income investments. The BEY does not take into account the time value of money (TVM) when going from a semi-annual YTM to an annual YTM.

Just remember that the formula is used to determine annual yield on a discount bond, which allows you to compare two different types of investments in relative terms. As we learned in this lesson, the bond equivalent yield (BEY) is used to determine the annual yield on a discount bond. And we also learned that a discount bond is a bond that is issued for less than its par (face) market value in the secondary market. The bond equivalent yield (BEY) will help you decide, since it’s used to determine the annual yield on a discount bond. Based on the rate of return, Bond D will have the highest yield, with a per-year yield of 50%, and Bond C has the lowest yield, at 5.7%. Other factors, such as the stability of the company providing the bonds, can all be considered when determining the desired bond to purchase.

It can be calculated as a simple coupon yield or using a more complex method like yield to maturity. Higher yields mean that bond investors are owed larger interest payments, but may also be a sign of greater risk. Well, you can now take your two https://1investing.in/s and compare each bond on an annual percentage yield, even if one pays out quarterly and one pays annually. This is particularly helpful when you’re trying to determine the investments that will yield you the highest returns. Bond equivalent yield, or BEY, is used to determine the annualized rate of return of a discounted bond.

## Bond Equivalent Yield (BEY) in Context

The BEY is expressed as a percentage and is used to compare the yields of different bonds. While YTM considers the bond’s price, coupon rate, and time to maturity, and Current Yield focuses on annual income relative to the bond’s price, BEY enables a more straightforward comparison bond equivalent yield of bond yields. When a bond’s price is close to its par value, the bond yield is close to its coupon rate. Yet, as interest rates in the broader bond market change, bond prices can rise or fall dramatically from their par value, and that makes calculating yields trickier.

## Motley Fool Investing Philosophy

This allows for a more direct comparison between bonds that might not otherwise be equal when stood up side by side. But some bonds, referred to as zero-coupon bonds, do not pay interest at all. Instead, they are issued at a deep discount to par, and investors collect returns when the bond matures. To compare the return on discounted fixed income securities with the returns on traditional bonds, analysts rely on the bond equivalent yield formula. It can be difficult to compare bonds since the method of earning money can differ from one bond to another.

Bond yields are different from bond prices—both of which share an inverse relationship. Bond yields can be derived in different ways, including the coupon yield and current yield. Additional calculations of a bond’s yield include yield to maturity (YTM) among others. If you have a long-term bond and want to compare it to a short-term investment, you’re going to need to calculate the bond equivalent yield first. Once you calculate the annual yield on the discount bond, you can perform an analysis and compare to fixed-income securities that do not make annual payments.

It’s a useful measure when comparing two bonds with different payout frequencies. The bond’s issuer agrees to pay the investor interest over the lifetime of the bond and return the principal upon maturity. Corporations, governments, and municipalities all issue bonds when they need to raise investment capital.

If interest rates rise, investors can get a higher coupon rate on new bonds so existing bonds become less valuable. Bond equivalent yield (BEY) is a rate that helps an investor determine the annual yield of a bond (or any other fixed-income security), that does not provide an annual payout. In other words, bond equivalent yield helps an investor find an “equivalent yield” between two or more bonds. It helps an investor to annualize the returns of monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or other discount bonds to facilitate an apples-to-apples comparison. YTM describes the average yield or return that an investor can expect from an issue each year if they (1) purchase it at its market value and (2) hold it until it matures. This value is determined using the coupon payment, the value of the issue at maturity, and any capital gains or losses that were incurred during the lifetime of the bond.

Investors can purchase bonds for more than their face value at a premium or less than the face value at a discount. There are spreadsheets with a built-in formula to calculate the bond equivalent yield, but here we will discuss how to do it without a spreadsheet. The resulting number can be multiplied by 100% to find the percent yield per year. One major advantage of BEY is that it allows comparison of bonds, such as the comparison of long-term and short-term investments in bonds. This is not to be confused with the annual percentage rate (APR), which is the rate which most banks quote with their mortgages.

## How to Compare the Yields of Different Bonds

Since both of the bonds have the same face value, Sam has to calculate the Bond Equivalent Yield of both the bonds to decide on which would be the better investment option. To calculate the APY, you raise the expression within the parentheses to the power of the number of compounding periods, subtract 1, and multiply by 100 to express it as a percentage. Investing in stocks and bonds can help to build wealth for anyone with disposable income. If you are considering investing in bonds, there are number of different options at your disposal.

## Why You Can Trust Finance Strategists

The meaning of bond yield refers to how much is earned by that bond in a year, represented as a percent or decimal. Typically, a bond is purchased and has a specific buy-back date when the bond’s face value will be repaid to the investor. Between the purchase date and the buy-back date, the bond will accrue interest, based on the coupon rate. Yields on Treasury notes and bonds, corporate bonds, and municipal bonds are quoted on a semi-annual bond basiS (SABB) because their coupon payments are made semi-annually. BEY is important for investors to make informed decisions when comparing bonds with different payment structures.