Fixed Income

Fixed Income Products

Fixed income products are type of investment that typically generates predictable payments in future. They consist of fixed income securities, such as bonds, and fixed income derivatives, such as, bond futures. Fixed income instruments bear interest rate risk that is an important part of market risk.


1. Amortizing Bond

An amortizing bond is a bond whose principal (face value) decreases due to repaying part of the principal along with the coupon payments. Each payment to the amortizing bond holder consists of a portion of interest and a portion of principal. While an accreting bond is a bond whose principal increases during the life of the deal. Each payment to the accreting bond holder is just a part of interest. The other part of coupon is added to the principal of the bond.

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2. Bond

A bond is a debt instrument in which an investor loans money to the issuer for a defined period of time and receives coupons paid by the issuer at fixed interest rate. The bond principal will be returned at maturity date. Bonds are usually issued by companies, municipalities, states/provinces and countries to finance a variety of projects and activities.

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3. Bond Futures

A bond future is a future contract in which the asset for delivery is a government bond. Any government bonds that meet the maturity specification of a future contract are eligible for delivery. All eligible delivery bonds construct the delivery basket where each bond has its own conversion factor. Conversion factors are used to equalize the coupon and accrued interest differences of all the deliverable bonds.

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4. Bond Future Option

A bond future option is an option contract that gives the holder the right but not the obligation to buy or sell a bond future at a predetermined price. The writer/seller receives a premium from the buyer for undertaking this obligation. Options are leveraged instruments that allow the owner to control a large amount of the underlying asset with a smaller amount of money. Bond future options offer significant advantages for reducing costs, enhancing returns and managing risk. They could be European style or American style.

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5. Callable Bond

A callable bond is a bond in which the issuer has the right to call the bond at specified times from the investor for a specified price. At each callable date prior to the bond maturity, the issuer may recall the bond from its investor by returning the investor’s money. The underlying bonds can be fixed rate bonds or floating rate bonds. A callable bond can therefore be considered a vanilla underlying bond with an embedded Bermudan style option. Callable bonds protect issuers. Therefore, a callable bond normally pays the investor a higher coupon than a non-callable bond.

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6. Floating Rate Notes

A floating rate note has variable coupons, depending on a money market reference rate, such as LIBOR, plus a floating spread. When interest rate raises, the coupons of an FRN increases in line with the increase of the forward rates, which means its price remains relatively constant. Therefore, FRNs bear small interest rate risk. On the other hand, FRNs carry lower yields than fixed rate bonds of the same maturity. They also have unpredictable coupon payments.

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7. Inflation Indexed Bond

The main idea of inflation indexed bonds is that investing in the bond will generate a certain real return. Inflation indexed bonds pay a periodic coupon that is equal to the product of the daily inflation index and the nominal coupon rate. Therefore, even though the nominal value of the coupons and principal may change, the real return of these remains the same. Unlike regular (nominal) bonds, inflation indexed bonds assure that your purchasing power is maintained regardless of the future rate of inflation.

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8. Puttable Bond

A puttable bond is a bond in which the investor has the right to sell the bond back to the issuer at specified times for a specified price. At each puttable date prior to the bond maturity, the investor may get the investment money back by selling the bond back to the issuer. The underlying bonds can be fixed rate bonds or floating rate bonds. A puttable bond can therefore be considered a vanilla underlying bond with an embedded Bermudan style option. Puttable bonds protect investors. Therefore, a puttable bond normally pays investors a lower coupon than a non-callable bond.

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9. Zero Coupon Bond

Zero coupon bonds are issued at a deep discount and repaid the face value at maturity. The greater the length of the maturity is the cheaper price a bond has. Unlike other bonds, the investor’s return is the difference between the purchase price and the face value. An investor preferring a long-term investment may purchase zero coupon bonds such as saving money for children’s college tuition. The deep discount helps the investor grow a small amount of money into a sizable sum over several years. Normally investors buy zero coupon bonds when interest rates are high.

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10. Callable Floating Coupon Note

A floating coupon note is a very flexible and generic funding product. The issuer pays the buyer periodic floating coupons based on a spread-adjusted reference rate, such as LIBOR. The buyer pays an upfront fee to the issuer. Also, the buyer pays the issuer a notional amount at inception and the issuer returns it upon cancellation or maturity of the deal.


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