Bonds are easy to buy and if you have good quality bonds like government bonds or good corporate bonds, then risk is slight and you will get back your capital if you hold the bond to maturity. People do not realize that the bond market is a lot riskier than the stock market. Bonds are only a safe investment if you buy and hold them until maturity.
What you do is phone your broker and ask for what they have in bonds. You are quoted a price per $100 of bond values. If you are buying a new issue, the asking price will be $100. However, if you buy a bond that is already issued, you will price a price per $100 of bond. If the bond has an interest rate above the current interest rate, then you will be quoted a price above $100 of the bond's amount. If the bond has an interest rate above the below interest rate, then you will be quoted a price below $100 of the bond's amount.
There is no commission paid on bonds. How the banks make money is the difference between the buying price and the selling price of the bond.
At maturity a bond will pay $100 per $100 of face amount. So if you paid a price below $100 of face amount, then you will end up with a capital gain between what you paid and the $100 of face amount. If you paid a price above $100 of face amount, then you will end up with a capital loss between what you paid the $100 of face amount.
When you buy a bond, the interest rate you will get is the current one for the type and duration of that bond. If you are getting a higher interest rate that the bond has then you will be quoted a price lower than $100. If you are getting lower interest rate than the bond has then you will be quoted a price higher than $100.
Say you were quoted $106.38 and were buying a bond with a face of $1000. You would be paying $1063.80 for the bond. What you will get by the maturity of the bond is the interest rate promised and the return of the money you paid. The interest payments you receive will be more than those quoted, but you will have a capital loss.
In this example the capital loss would be $63.80. The net amount you will receive is $24.81. You will pay tax on the $88.61 you actually receive in Interest and have a capital loss of $63.80 to be used against any capital gains you have. If you subtract the 63.80 capital loss from $88.61, you get $24.81, the amount you really received.
When you buy the bond you will also paid interest due between the last interest payment and the date you buy the bond. In this example, that would be $5.14.
|Gov of CDN||$1,000.00||3.75%||1-Jun-19||$106.38||0.99647%||$1,063.80|
|Int pd yrly||$37.50||-$63.80||Cap Loss|
|Net Rec||Int Inc|
In another example, say you were quoted $99.796 and were buying a bond with a face of $1000. You would be paying $$997.96 for the bond. What you will get by the maturity of the bond is the interest rate promised and the return of the money you paid. The interest payments you receive will be less than those quoted, but this will be made up for the fact that you will receive back $1000 or $2.04 more than the $997.96 you paid for the bond.
In this example the capital gain would be $2.04. The net amount you will receive is $14.79. You will pay tax on the $12.75 you actually receive in Interest and the capital gain of $2.40. If you add $12.75 and $2.40 you get $14.79.
When you buy the bond you will also paid interest due between the last interest payment and the date you buy the bond. In this example, that would be $0.55.
|Int pd yrly||$13.30||$2.04||Cap Gain|
|Net Rec||Int Inc|
The thing is that it is not risky in buying a bond on the open market and holding it until maturity. The risk is that if interest rates go up, the value of your bond will go down and people can panic and sell a bond on the open market. The bond market is risky when you buy and sell on the open market. However, if you hold that bond until maturity and ignore the current market price, you will get your money back.
On my other blog I wrote yesterday about Richelieu Hardware Ltd (TSX-RCH, OTC-RHUHF)... learn more. Tomorrow, I will write Enbridge Inc. (TSX-ENB, NYSE-ENB)... learn more on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 around 5 pm.
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