Advertisement

Junk bonds

Junk bonds are also known as 'high yield', 'non-investment grade', or 'speculative' bonds.

Junk bonds are also known as 'high yield', 'non-investment grade', or 'speculative' bonds. They are usually issued by companies without well-established records of earnings, and so have to offer higher rates of interest to compensate for a greater probability of default on those interest payments.

The rating is determined by the main credit rating agencies: Moody's, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch. Junk bonds are also used by small firms to finance takeovers of larger companies, particularly in the US. Firms with investment grade (BBB- or better, according to S&P's system) bonds can be downgraded to junk status if they hit difficulties. These are called 'fallen angels'.

Advertisement - Article continues below

See Tim Bennett's video tutorial: Bond basics.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Economic indicators
Glossary

Economic indicators

An economic indicator is any statistic that allows us to analyse how the economy is performing or is likely to perform in future.
31 Jul 2020
Modern monetary theory (MMT)
Glossary

Modern monetary theory (MMT)

Modern Monetary theory, or MMT, has become popular on the left, both in the UK and abroad. (Wags say that it stands for "magic money tree".) 
14 Jul 2020
Modern monetary theory (MMT)
Glossary

Modern monetary theory (MMT)

Modern monetary theory, or MMT, has become popular on the left, both in the UK and abroad. (Wags say that it stands for "magic money tree".) 
14 Jul 2020
Barbell strategy
Glossary

Barbell strategy

A “barbell… investment strategy means weighting a portfolio towards the two extreme ends of an asset class with nothing in the middle.
8 Jul 2020

Most Popular

Gold hits the big $2,000 level – are Aim miners about to play catch up?
Gold

Gold hits the big $2,000 level – are Aim miners about to play catch up?

With the price of gold shooting through $2,000 an ounce, the yellow metal looks unstoppable. Things are so bullish, even Aim-listed junior gold miners…
5 Aug 2020
Don’t despair on dividends – these companies could be set to bring them back
Income investing

Don’t despair on dividends – these companies could be set to bring them back

The value of dividends paid out by UK stocks has plummeted this year as companies “rebase” their payment policies. But things could soon start to look…
6 Aug 2020
Too embarrassed to ask: what is “real return”?
Too embarrassed to ask

Too embarrassed to ask: what is “real return”?

MoneyWeek's latest "too embarrassed to ask” video explains what a real return is and why it's so important for investors.
5 Aug 2020