What are bonds and how are they traded?

Investment Banking

Bonds are a type of investment instrument (or financial instrument) that allows investors to lend money to an entity, such as a corporation or a government, in exchange for regular interest payments and the promise of repayment of the principal amount at a future date. In essence, bonds represent a loan made by investors to the issuer of the bond. The investment is only possible for those who have an Investment Banking Certification.

Bonds are traded in the bond market, which operates similarly to the stock market. Bonds are bought and sold by investors, and the prices of bonds are determined by supply and demand. The bond market is an important part of the overall financial market, as it provides a way for entities to borrow money and for investors to earn interest income. 

Learning about the different types of bonds and how they are traded is an essential component of investment banking and financial services. Let us learn more.

Types of Bonds

Bonds are issued by different types of entities, and there are various types of bonds available in the market. Here are some of the most common types of bonds: 

Government bonds: These are bonds issued by governments, typically to fund infrastructure or other public projects. Government bonds are generally considered to be among the safest types of bonds, as they are backed by the full faith and credit of the government. 

Corporate bonds: These are bonds issued by corporations to raise money for business purposes, such as financing expansion or funding new projects. Corporate bonds generally offer higher yields than government bonds, but they also carry more risk. 

Municipal bonds: These are bonds issued by state and local governments, as well as other public entities such as school districts and transportation authorities. Municipal bonds are generally exempt from federal income tax and may also be exempt from state and local taxes, making them attractive to investors seeking tax-advantaged income. 

International bonds: These are bonds issued by foreign governments and corporations. International bonds may offer higher yields than domestic bonds, but they also carry currency risk and political risk, as the economic and political conditions in foreign countries can be less stable than those in the investor's home country. 

Zero-coupon bonds: These are bonds that do not pay regular interest payments, but instead are issued at a discount to their face value and redeemed for the full face value at maturity. These bonds occur in the Derivatives market, Zero-coupon bonds can be attractive to investors seeking a fixed return without the need for regular income. 

Convertible bonds: These are bonds that can be converted into a certain number of shares at a predetermined conversion price of the issuer's stock. These bonds offer capital appreciation if the issuer's stock price rises, while it also provides downside protection through the bond's fixed-income payments. 

High-yield bonds: These are bonds issued by companies with lower credit ratings, and they offer higher yields to compensate for the higher risk of default. High-yield bonds are also known as "junk bonds" and are generally considered to be a higher-risk investment. 

Understanding the different types of bonds can help investors to make informed decisions about their bond investments, based on their risk tolerance, investment goals, and other factors. Having a profound knowledge of the types of bonds can give an investor an edge in the financial markets, money market and derivatives market.

Bond Trading Methods

There are two main ways in which bonds can be traded: Over-the-counter (OTC) trading and trading on exchanges.

 Over-the-counter (OTC) trading: This is a decentralised market where bonds are traded directly between buyers and sellers. In OTC trading, there is no centralised exchange, and transactions are negotiated by dealers who act as intermediaries between buyers and sellers. 

OTC trading is common in the bond market, as many bonds are not traded frequently enough to be listed on an exchange. This type of trading is typically conducted between large institutional investors, such as banks, hedge funds, and pension funds. 

Trading on exchanges: This is a centralised market where bonds are traded on a regulated exchange. The exchange provides a platform for buyers and sellers to trade bonds, and the exchange sets the rules for trading and the requirements for listing a bond. Trading on exchanges is typically more transparent than OTC trading, as prices and trading volumes are publicly available. This type of trading is accessible to both institutional and individual investors. 

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are a type of investment vehicle that can be used to trade bonds on exchanges. ETFs are traded like stocks on an exchange; they teach the basics of Stock and methods of ‘Borrow and Lending’ to allow investors to gain exposure to a basket of bonds without the need to buy and sell individual bonds.


Bonds are financial instruments used by investors as an investment program in various markets. To invest in these investments they require Investment Banking Certification and the basics of Stock, Borrow & Lending. Amassing knowledge in the Bond industries is a great investment for the upcoming future.

If you wish to learn more about financial instruments, you can enrol yourself in the Certified Investment Banking Operations Programme by Imarticus. This programme will help you learn more about investment banking operations and how various financial instruments are traded.

This professional investment banking certification is a 150 hours course with a 100% job interview guarantee, and the average salary from this course is around 5 LPA. Over 1000 batches have already completed this course and 40,000 plus students are already employed. If you are aiming for a career in investment banking, this programme is for you. 

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