Bond Definition – How does the trade work? – Explanation

What is a bond? Definition – The bond trade explained

Bonds are considered a conservative investment with low risk. Therefore, bonds are found in many well-diversified portfolios. They serve as a hedge and stabilization for investments. In this article, we explain what bonds are, how you can trade them and what you need to keep in mind. We will also tell you about possible risks.

Bonds are lucrative financial instruments.

What is a bond (definition)?

A Bond is a fixed-income security that allowsthat allows money to be lent to institutions over a fixed period of time. This means that during the term a fixed Interest (fixed rate) is paid on the investment. There are also floating rate bonds (floaters), where the interest rate is linked to reference interest rates or to Inflation rates inflation rates. Interest is usually paid at a reference rate plus a fixed premium, known as the spread. The interest rate paid on the bond therefore changes in line with the reference interest rates or inflation rates and protects the investor from interest rate changes. The details of the associated interest rate are specified in the coupon of a bond. Investors receive the original investment amount back at the end of the term (the maturity date). Accordingly, the interest yield is the only profit you can make from the bond.

The value of a bond is expressed as its nominal value and is typically EUR 100 or EUR 1,000. This amount is repaid on the maturity date and indicates the value of the original investment. The interest rates of a bond are calculated from the creditworthiness of the issuer (debtor) and the loan period.

Bonds are used as financing for governments or corporations. Accordingly, a distinction is made between corporate bonds and government bonds. The German government bond, for example, is called a federal bond. It is used to finance the German state. A bond is also known as a debenture, debenture stock or bond paper known as. The English term bond is also often used.

How does bond trading work?

Bond trading offers an opportunity to profit from price fluctuations of government or corporate bonds.

Bonds are traded on the Capital market. They can therefore be bought or sold during their term. However, the bond price is not measured in euros or any other currency, but as a percentage.

Bond trading using an example

For example, if a bond with a face value of EUR 100 is at 100%, you will get EUR 100 back at the end of the term. If, on the other hand, the bond price is 95%, you can buy the bond for EUR 95 and also get EUR 100 back at the end of the term. So you bought it for less than its face value and can make a profit on the difference.

Despite previously fixed Interest yields, market conditions can lead to fluctuations in bond prices. From this Volatility you can profit from when trading bonds. High reference interest rates make bonds appear less attractive to investors because there are correspondingly many lower-risk alternatives with better yields. When reference interest rates are low (low or minus interest rate periods), bonds become more popular and prices rise. Accordingly, reference interest rates and bond prices are inversely related.

Besides actual bond trading, traders can also speculate with financial derivatives based on the market price of the same bond. Bond CFDs make it possible to exploit the volatility of the bond pricewithout having to buy the underlying asset. This bond trading is a highly risky and speculative form of trading. CFDs are leveraged financial products whose losses can significantly exceed the original investment amount.

Bond trading is used alongside stock trading often used as a supplement in a diversified trading portfolio.

Where can bonds be traded?

Bonds are traded on the bond market, just as stocks are traded on the stock market. They can be bought or sold there at the current bond price. Bonds are not required to be traded on an exchange in most countries, so they do not have to be traded on the stock market An over-the-counter (OTC) trading is possible.

There are several brokers for bond trading. As a rule, you can buy actual bonds from your stock broker. If you do not already have a securities account, you must first open one with a broker. After that, you can choose the appropriate bond and buy or sell it through their broker.

Bond CFDs, on the other hand, you can trade with us. With our CFD offering, you can profit from the volatility of bond prices without having to buy the underlying asset. Over-the-counter trading is available with us, so you can trade fractions of a contract.

What is there to consider when trading?

A bond is a security that gives the investor (creditor) the right to payment of agreed interest as well as repayment of the investment amount.

Accordingly, the bond is a debt claim to two things:

Interest payment: Payment of interest at a previously defined interest rate. This interest rate is specified in the interest coupon (coupon rate). The buyer of a bond receives the specified interest in return for lending money during the term.
Repayment: Repayment of the original investment amount at maturity.

The buyer of a bond thus grants a loan to a company or a government. Accordingly, it is debt capital. Debt capital means that the capital comes from other capital providers (creditors). It refers to the debts, i.e. liabilities and provisions of a company. The opposite of debt capital is Equitywhich includes shares, for example. Equity is capital that comes from the company’s own financial resources, for example from partners or shareholders (co-owners in a company).

In addition, fees are due for every trade in bonds.

What are the fees for bond trading?

The fees depend on the broker. Generally, the same fees apply as for stock trading and trading in other securities. Order fees do not differentiate between the types of securities. Bond trading involves order fees, trading venue fees and accrued interest.

Order Fees:

Order fees are incurred each time a security is bought or sold, i.e., per order. These fees usually consist of a basic fee and a percentage of the order volume. When choosing a broker, you should select one that offers a fixed-fee model. Otherwise, the fees can be very high for larger investment amounts. For example, there are also brokers that offer trading free of charge.

Trading Venue Fees:

Trading venue fees are external costs charged by the trading venue (exchange). They depend on the particular trading venue. Most brokers charge trading venue fees in addition to order fees. At domestic exchanges, these are usually cheaper or even free of charge. On foreign exchanges, these can be significantly higher.

Accrued interest:

Accrued interest is payable on the purchase of bonds. They serve to settle the interest accrued to date between two interest dates. If the day of purchase falls on the interest date itself, no accrued interest is payable. The buyer therefore pays the seller a settlement of the interest not yet paid.

Accrued interest is calculated as follows:

Accrued interest = nominal value of the bond * interest rate (coupon rate) * interest days / 365 days

Accrued interest using an example:

The interest date of a bond falls on October 5. Max Mustermann buys the bond on March 15. He has to pay the current price of the bond on the one hand and the interest accrued to date on the other. 23 weeks have passed since the last interest date. This results in 161 interest days.

We assume a nominal value of the bond of EUR 10,000 and an interest rate of 5%. The accrued interest is calculated as follows:

10.eUR 000 * 0.05 * 161 interest days / 365 days = EUR 220.55

Max Mustermann must therefore pay EUR 220.55 accrued interest to the seller as compensation for the interest accrued to date.

What are the fees when trading bond CFDs?

The fees when trading bond CFDs also depend on the broker. When trading CFDs, spreads, costs for hedging, Commissions, costs for trading with leverage, and overnight financing costs.

Spreads:

A spread is the difference between the The buy price (BID) and the sell price (ASK) of a security of a security. Spreads can change during volatile market conditions. However, they are specified for each purchase or sale. The conventional spreads are usually indicated in the brokers’ price directories. For example, with us you can trade from a spread of 1.4 points. This means that if the position is opened without any change in the price, there will be a loss of exactly this amount. The corresponding monetary value depends on the contract size.

Hedging costs:

Traders can hedge their positions with most brokers with a guaranteed Stop-loss hedge. The position will be closed at the desired price even if the market conditions would not allow it at the time. This may be the case, for example, in the event of a price gap or a rapid crash. Accordingly, the cost of hedging can be compared to an insurance premium.

Commissions:

The broker may charge a commission per trade. For example, with us you can trade bond CFDs without any additional commission.

Costs for trading with leverage

At Trading with leverage costs may be incurred that exceed the original equity invested. These are not regular costs, but costs caused by high losses. Due to the leverage, the losses may be higher than the invested capital. The investor is obliged to make margin calls and must pay them to the broker in the event of a loss. Therefore, trading leveraged CFDs is very risky.

Overnight Financing Costs:

Overnight funding charges are incurred when short-term trades are held open overnight. A daily interest fee is charged.

What is the risk of bonds?

Bonds are generally less risky than stocks or ETFs. This is because bonds are debt and stocks and ETFs are equity. In the event of insolvency, lenders, i.e. bondholders, are paid out of the insolvency estate first and shareholders only at the end. For this reason, bonds are very well suited to minimizing the risk of the Portfolio.

However, with bond CFDs that are traded with leverage, the risk is significantly higher. The leverage can increase the profits, but the losses can significantly exceed the invested capital. Leveraged CFDs should therefore only be traded by experienced traders.

Conclusion

Bonds are generally safer than stocks. Government bonds are significantly less risky than corporate bonds. Safe government bonds are therefore recommended as a diversification of the portfolio. Large fluctuations can be balanced out in this way. However, in times of low and zero interest rates, yields on very safe bonds are negative in some cases. This means there is less money back overall than equity invested. However, the conditions are predetermined and should therefore be carefully examined. Bond CFDs, on the other hand, are very risky and should therefore only be traded by experienced traders. However, these also have the highest potential for very good returns.

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