What is a Bond?
A bond is a fixed income debt instrument, in which the authorized issuer owes the holders a debt and, depending on the terms of the bond, is obliged to pay interest (coupon) to the holder and/or to repay the principal at a later date. It is a formal contract to repay borrowed money with interest at fixed intervals.
What kind of return will you be receiving?
Bonds are a great alternative to other investments such as equities, mutual funds and fixed deposits and offer a good return as compared to its risk. Bonds are also much more secure than equities as they are governed by stricter terms and conditions.
How safe are Bonds?
In terms of default risk (the risk that the bond issuer is unable to repay bond holders at the maturity date), bonds are usually rated by reputable rating agencies such as Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s, Fitch and CariCRIS (a Caribbean credit rating agency). The ratings given by these agencies are an indication of the issuer’s probability of default and ability to make its obligated payments. Investors therefore use ratings as a gauge of how safe a bond is. Generally, the higher the rating, the less likely the issuer will default.
How Can You Benefit From Investing in Bonds?
- The returns that Bond Brokerage offers is a great avenue for the investor to get superior returns when compared to Banks or Mutual Funds with a fair amount of risk.
- Bonds provide a fixed rate of return to the investor, as compared to money market mutual funds where the rate is lower and volatile.
- Bond Brokerage provides an opportunity for you to diversify your portfolio particularly now in a time where equities are risky and in a low interest mutual fund environment.
- Bonds provide predictable income for the investor, as compared with equity dividends, which are paid at the discretion of the management and Board. This can be paid annually, semi-annually and quarterly as per the bond’s term and conditions.
- Some Bonds can be bought and sold which can therefore provide the investor with an opportunity for capital gains.
- Bonds provide the investor with predictable cash flows.
What is the minimum investment amount?
The minimum investment amount is US $25,000 (face value).
Are there tax implications of investing in Bonds?
Yes, but there are certain bonds which are tax exempt; however they are more difficult to source. We at Bourse will search the market if you so desire tax-free bonds.
What commission is charged by Bourse?
Bourse’s rates of commission are competitive when compared to other bond brokerage houses in Trinidad and Tobago. In addition to this, all of our charges are included in the prices we quote and therefore returns are net.
What is Liquidity Risk?
Liquidity refers to the ability to quickly convert your investment into cash. Therefore, liquidity risk is the risk that the asset cannot be purchased or sold without a significant concession in price. In terms of bonds, the international bond market is considered fairly liquid, whilst the local bond market is somewhat illiquid.
What is Yield to Maturity?
Yield to Maturity is the most common measure of a bond investor’s return. It is the total return the investor will receive on the bond if it is held until maturity.
What is Current Yield?
Current Yield is an alternative measure of return. It represents the return taking into account coupon interest only and ignores capital gains or losses and re-investment income. It is calculated as the annual coupon interest on the bond over the price of the bond.
Can the value of my bond decrease?
Bond valuations fluctuate over time as market conditions change. The general rule of thumb is that when interest rates rise, bond valuations fall (capital deprecation) and when interest rates fall, bond valuations rise (capital appreciation).
What is an investment grade bond?
Investment grade bonds are securities that are judged by credit rating agencies, such as Standard and Poor’s, to be likely to meet its obligated payments. In other words, these bonds have a lower probability of default. Bonds rated BBB- and above by S&P are considered investment grade.
What is a junk bond?
Junk (speculative or high yield) bonds are securities rated below BBB- by S&P. These bonds have a higher risk of default compared to investment grade bonds but compensate investors by paying a higher yield.
What do the credit ratings mean?
Can I purchase bonds in currencies other than USD?
Investors can purchase bonds denominated in other currencies such as Euro, CAD, GBP etc. However, purchase and sales are settled in USD, therefore, the investor is faced with any associated currency risk.
Can I purchase bonds jointly with a relative or friend?
Bonds can be purchased jointly.
How do I receive my coupon payment?
Bond coupon payments are made via a USD draft within 2-3 business days of the coupon date.
When are coupon payments made?
Coupon payments are typically made semi-annually. However, some issuers pay annually or even quarterly.
Can the value of my bond decrease?
Bond valuations fluctuate over time as market conditions change. The general rule of thumb is that when interest rates rise, bond valuations fall (capital deprecation) and when interest rates fall, bond valuations rise (capital appreciation). However, this fluctuation in the value of the bond would only affect you should you decide to sell the bond before it matures. If you hold the bond to maturity, you will be unaffected by any shifts in the bond’s value.
When are coupon payments made?
Coupon payments are typically made semi-annually. However, this may vary from issuer to issuer.
Are bonds traded on an exchange?
There is a local TTD bond exchange run by the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange (TTSE). Most Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT) bonds are listed on that exchange along with a few corporate bonds. Bourse Securities Limited is a licensed broker on the TTSE.
What is an Over The Counter market?
An Over the Counter (OTC) market is the bond market over which bonds not listed on the exchange are traded. Bonds are traded in their paper form via the registrars.
What is the difference between the primary bond market and the secondary bond market?
The primary market is defined as the market in which the bonds are first issued to the public. Any subsequent trading of the bonds from the initial holders is traded in the secondary market. Secondary market trading can be done either over the exchange or in the OTC market.
What is a GSI?
A Government Securities Intermediary (GSI) is an agent approved by the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT) to act on its behalf during primary bond auctions.
Can you sell your bond at any time? How long will this process take?
Some bonds are easier to sell than others so it depends on the particular bond and the market for that bond.
At Bourse, our research and treasury departments actively monitor the markets and always keep our clients informed when opportunities arise. We do so, after performing adequate research to ensure that the bonds we recommend are of good standing and reflect the companies that they are issued by. This is used as an indication of their level of safety risk.
How will Bourse keep you informed on your bond’s performance?
Quarterly statements are provided to all of our customers. However if at any time you desire additional information, you can email or call us.
For further information on any investment option, kindly contact us at (868) 628-9100 or at email@example.com
Interested investors can call 1-868-226-8773 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Documents needed for purchasing a bond are:
- Two (2) forms of photo identification (e.g. National Identification Card, T&T Passport or Driver’s License)
- Proof of Address not older than 3 months (e.g. Utility Bill, Bank or Credit Card Statement)
- Job Letter and recent Pay slip
- A Source of Funds Declaration Form (which we will provide).