# Flashcards

The yield curve is a plot of the yields of debt instruments of varying maturities, starting with short-term, then mid-term, and lastly long-term debt.

The yield spread is the difference in the yield that two distinct types of issuers must pay when selling debt of the same maturity. The yield spread is also referred to as the credit spread. Commonly the yield spread looks at the yields on corporate debt versus U.S. government debt, of the same maturity.

When an investor purchases a callable bond in the secondary market that is trading at a premium the most important yield to consider is yield to call (it is called yield to worst in this situation).

A bond’s yield to maturity takes into account the discount or premium paid for the bond and averages the gain (or loss) with the stated interest payment to calculate a yield over a period of time. When a bond is purchased in the secondary market at a discount, the most important yield for the investor to consider is the yield to maturity. A bond’s yield to maturity is also known as its internal rate of return.

A zero coupon bond is a bond in which a broker-dealer has separated the interest payments from the principal amount. The zero coupon bond represents the principal only. Zero coupon bonds are sold at a discount. They are also called STRIPS (separate trading of registered interest and principal). Zero coupon bonds have the highest duration since the investor receives no interest payments. The interest that accrues on a zero coupon bond is taxed each year, making them fairly unpopular investments.