Taxable Bonds

Par, Premium, and Discount Bonds

Bonds or fixed income instruments are generally issued in denominations of $1,000s representing either face value or par. Issuers of these instruments promise to pay interest throughout the life of a bond. At maturity, fixed income investments pay the face value, or par, of $1,000 to the bondholders. Bonds in the secondary market, can be traded either at par, below par (a discount), or above par (a premium). In general, the price of a bond fluctuates in the market place, prior to its maturity, based on the issuer’s financial stability, rating, coupon payment, years to maturity, interest rates and the supply and demand for any given fixed income security. Any of these variables, separately or collectively, can lead to a bond to trade either at a discount, par or a premium. For example, in general there is an inverse relationship between a bond price and interest rates in the market place. A rise in interest rates normally leads to a bond price to decrease in value and vice-versa. However, independently of a bond value in the secondary market, at maturity a viable, and financially sound fixed income instrument is redeemed at face value of $1,000s denominations. It is important to note, that in some instances a bond can be either called or redeemed prior to maturity at a discount or par. An investor, needs to read the prospectus and the updated MSRB reports of each fixed income security before investing in order to determine the risks associated with these instruments.

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