A bond is a way for the government to borrow money from investors; in return, the investors receive interest payments. The UK government has issued bonds since 1693, which are now a crucial part of the country’s economy. When a local resident buys UK bonds, they commit to a duration that ends when the bond matures, which can range from a few months to decades.
There are two main types of bonds
There are two main types of bonds: gilts and corporate bonds. Gilts are issued by the government and are considered a very safe investment. Corporate bonds in the UK are issued by companies and are often seen as riskier than gilts, but they can offer higher returns.
The interest payments on bonds are known as coupons
The coupon rate is the interest paid yearly, expressed as a percentage of the bond’s face value. For example, if a UK bond has a face value of £100 and a coupon rate of 5%, the investor will receive £5 in interest each year.
Bonds in the UK are bought and sold on the secondary market
The secondary market is where UK bonds are bought and sold after issuing them. The bond price on the secondary market will rise and fall depending on factors such as interest rates and the issuer’s creditworthiness.
Investors can hold bonds until they mature
Bonds have a fixed term, known as the maturity date, which is the date on which the bond will be repaid in full. Investors can choose to hold their UK bonds until they mature, or they can sell them on the secondary market before then.
UK government bonds are called gilts
Gilts are bonds that the UK government issues. They are considered safe investments, as the government is unlikely to default on its debt. The UK has issued gilts since 1693, which are now a crucial part of the country’s economy.
The yield on a UK bond is the return you get from investing in it
The yield is the annual return you receive from investing in a bond, expressed as a percentage of the bond’s price. For example, if you buy a UK bond for £100 and pay £5 in interest each year, the yield would be 5%.
Bond prices and their yields can move in opposite directions
When bond prices rise, yields fall, and vice versa because the yield is calculated as a percentage of the bond’s price. So, if the bond’s price rises, the yield will fall, and if the bond’s price falls, the yield will rise.
Changes in interest rates can affect UK bond prices.
When interest rates go up, bond prices usually fall, and when interest rates fall, bond prices usually rise because bonds are sensitive to changes in interest rates. When interest rates go up, it becomes more expensive for the issuer to repay the debt, so bond prices fall. When interest rates fall, it becomes less expensive for the issuer to repay the debt, so bond prices rise.
The creditworthiness of the issuer affects bond prices
The creditworthiness of the issuer is a critical factor in determining bond prices. Suppose the issuer is considered a high-risk borrower. In that case, the bond prices will be lower than if the issuer is considered a low-risk borrower because there is a greater chance that the high-risk borrower will default on the debt, which would mean that investors would lose their money.
Bond prices can be affected by political events
Political events can have a substantial negative impact on bond prices. For example, uncertainty about a country’s future economic policy could lead to investors selling government bonds, which would cause bond prices to fall.
Interest rates on bonds can be fixed or variable
Interest rates on bonds can be either fixed or variable. Fixed-rate bonds have an interest rate set for the bond’s life, so investors know exactly how much they will receive in interest payments each year. Variable-rate bonds have an interest rate that can change over time so that investors may receive more or fewer interest payments each year.
Bonds in the UK are a type of investment that can offer stability and income. They are suitable for investors looking for an investment that will give them regular interest payments and those looking to invest in the UK for the long term.