Bond is a debt investment in which an investor loans money to an entity (corporate or governmental) that borrows the funds for a defined period of time at a fixed interest rate. Bonds are used by companies, municipalities and country’s governments to finance a variety of projects and activities.
Bonds are commonly referred to as fixed-income securities and are one of the three main asset classes, along with stocks and cash equivalents..
The indebted entity (issuer) issues a bond that states the interest rate (coupon) that will be paid and when the loaned funds (bond principal) are to be returned (maturity date). Interest on bonds is usually paid every six months (semi-annually).
Two features of a bond credit quality and duration are the principal determinants of a bond's interest rate. Corporate and municipals bonds maturities range from a three to 10−year range.