Bonds are a type of investment security that represents a loan made by an investor to a borrower. When an investor buys a bond, they are essentially lending money to the bond issuer, which can be a government, corporation, or other entity. In return, the bond issuer promises to pay the investor a fixed amount of interest over a specified period of time, known as the bond’s term, and to repay the principal amount of the loan at the end of the term.
Bonds can be bought and sold on bond markets, and the prices of bonds can fluctuate based on a variety of factors, including changes in interest rates, credit ratings, and market conditions. The interest paid on a bond, known as the coupon rate, is typically fixed and based on the bond’s face value, which is the amount that the investor will receive when the bond matures.
Bonds are often considered to be a relatively safe investment compared to stocks because they provide a fixed income stream and are generally less volatile. However, the returns on bonds are typically lower than the potential returns on stocks, and bonds can still carry risks, such as the risk of default by the bond issuer or changes in interest rates that can affect the value of the bond.