Fixed-Income Security Definition: Types and Examples

A set-income safety is an funding that gives a return by way of fastened periodic curiosity funds and the eventual return of principal at maturity. In contrast to variable-income securities, the place funds change based mostly on an underlying measure, reminiscent of short-term rates of interest, the returns of a fixed-income safety are identified.


Key Takeaways

  • Fastened-Revenue securities present traders with a stream of fastened periodic curiosity funds and the eventual return of principal at maturity.
  • Bonds are the most typical kind of fixed-income safety.
  • Totally different bonds have completely different phrases and credit score rankings assigned to them based mostly on the monetary viability of the issuer.
  • The U.S. Treasury ensures authorities fixed-income securities, making these very low-risk however comparatively low-return investments.

Understanding Fastened-Revenue Securities

Fastened-Revenue securities are debt devices that pay a hard and fast quantity of curiosity, within the type of coupon funds, to traders. The curiosity funds are generally distributed semiannually, and the principal is returned to the investor at maturity. Bonds are the most typical type of fixed-income securities.

A bond is an funding product firms and governments concern to lift funds to finance initiatives and fund operations. Company and authorities bonds have numerous maturities and face values. The face worth is the quantity the investor will obtain when the bond matures. Company and authorities bonds commerce on main exchanges and normally are listed with $1,000 face values, also called the par worth.

Firms elevate capital by issuing fixed-income merchandise to traders.

Credit score Ranking of Fastened-Revenue Securities

Bonds are assigned completely different credit score rankings based mostly on the monetary viability of the issuer. Credit score rankings are a part of a grading system carried out by credit-rating companies. These companies measure the creditworthiness of company and authorities bonds and the entity’s skill to repay these loans. Credit score rankings are useful to traders as a result of they outline the dangers concerned in investing.

Bonds can both be investment-grade or non-investment-grade bonds. Funding grade bonds are issued by steady firms with a low danger of default and, subsequently, have decrease rates of interest than non-investment grade bonds. Non-investment grade bonds, also called junk bonds or high-yield bonds, have decrease credit score rankings as a consequence of a likelihood of default by the issuer. Traders obtain a better rate of interest from investing in junk bonds for assuming the upper danger of those debt securities.

Varieties of Fastened-Revenue Securities

Treasury Notes

Treasury notes (T-notes) are issued by the U.S. Treasury and are intermediate-term bonds that mature in two, three, 5, or ten years. T-Notes normally have a face worth of $1,000 and pay semiannual curiosity funds at fastened coupon charges or rates of interest. The curiosity cost and principal reimbursement of all Treasurys are backed by the total religion and credit score of the U.S. authorities, which points these bonds to pay money owed.

Treasury Bond

The U.S. Treasury additionally points Treasury bonds (T-bond) which mature in 30 years. Treasury bonds sometimes have par values of $10,000 and are bought on public sale on the web site TreasuryDirect.

Treasury Payments

Quick-term fixed-income securities embody Treasury payments. The T-bill matures inside one 12 months from issuance and would not pay curiosity. As an alternative, traders purchase the safety at a cheaper price than its face worth or a reduction. When the invoice matures, traders obtain the face worth quantity. The curiosity earned or return on the funding is the distinction between the acquisition worth and the face worth quantity of the invoice.

Municipal Bond

A municipal bond is issued by states, cities, and counties to fund capital initiatives, reminiscent of roads, faculties, and hospitals, generally bought with a $5,000 face worth. The curiosity earned from these bonds is exempt from federal revenue tax. The curiosity earned on a “muni” bond could also be exempt from state and native taxes if the investor resides within the state the place the bond is issued. The muni bond has a number of maturity dates by which a portion of the principal comes due in intervals till your entire principal is repaid.

Certificates of Deposit

A financial institution points a certificates of deposit (CD). In return for depositing cash with the financial institution for a predetermined interval, the financial institution pays curiosity to the account holder. CDs have maturities of lower than 5 years and sometimes pay decrease charges than bonds however greater charges than conventional financial savings accounts. A CD carries Federal Deposit Insurance coverage Company (FDIC) insurance coverage as much as $250,000 per account holder.

Company Bonds

Company bonds are debt securities issued by firms to lift funds. In contrast to firm shares, bond traders haven’t any voting rights or fairness within the firm. Bonds are categorized based mostly on their maturity interval. Quick-term bonds are held for lower than three years, medium-term for 4 to 10 years, and long-term for greater than ten years. Bonds are categorized as funding or non-investment grade relying on the corporate’s credit standing.

Most well-liked Inventory

Firms concern most popular inventory that gives traders with a hard and fast dividend, set as a greenback quantity or share of share worth on a predetermined schedule. Rates of interest and inflation affect the value of most popular shares, and shares have greater yields than most bonds as a consequence of their longer period.

Benefits and Disadvantages of Fastened-Revenue Securities


Fastened-income securities present regular curiosity revenue to traders, scale back danger in an funding portfolio and defend in opposition to volatility or fluctuations out there. Equities are historically extra risky than bonds so traders might allocate a portion of their portfolios to fixed-income investments to scale back their danger degree. Fastened-income securities are additionally accessible in mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

The costs of bonds and fixed-income securities enhance and reduce. Though the curiosity funds of fixed-income securities are regular, their costs will not be assured to stay steady all through the lifetime of the holding. If traders promote a fixed-income safety earlier than maturity, positive factors or losses are based mostly on the distinction between the acquisition worth and the sale worth.

The U.S. Treasury ensures authorities fixed-income securities, thought-about safe-haven investments. Company bonds rely upon the monetary viability of an organization and have a better danger of default than authorities bonds. Nonetheless, company bonds usually tend to be repaid if an organization declares chapter since bondholders can be repaid earlier than widespread stockholders.


Fastened-income securities generally have low returns and gradual capital appreciation or worth will increase. The preliminary principal quantity is commonly inaccessible, significantly with long-term bonds with maturities higher than ten years.

Fastened-income securities present a hard and fast curiosity cost no matter the place market rates of interest transfer. An investor that bought a bond paying 2% per 12 months will lose revenue if market rates of interest rise above 4%. Inflation might erode the return on fixed-rate securities if the inflation price is greater than the rate of interest of the fixed-income instrument.

All bonds have credit score or default danger for the reason that securities are tied to the issuer’s monetary viability. Investing in worldwide bonds can enhance the chance of default if the nation is economically or politically unstable.


  • Fastened-income securities present regular curiosity revenue to traders all through the lifetime of the bond

  • Fastened-income securities are rated by credit standing companies

  • Fastened-income securities normally have much less worth volatility danger

  • Fastened-income securities reminiscent of U.S. Treasuries are assured by the federal government


  • The issuer can default on making the curiosity funds or paying again the principal

  • Fastened-income securities sometimes pay a decrease price of return than different investments

  • Inflation danger could be a problem if costs rise by a quicker price than the rate of interest on the fixed-income safety

  • Market rates of interest might rise greater than the speed on a fixed-income safety

Actual World Instance

Treasury bonds are long-term bonds with a maturity of 30 years. T-Bonds present semiannual curiosity funds and normally have $1,000 face values. A 30-year Treasury bond was issued on February 15, 2023, with a price of three.625%. Traders are paid $36.25 on their $1,000 funding every year. The $1,000 principal is repaid in 30 years.

A ten-year Treasury be aware was issued on February 15, 2023, with a price of three.5%. The bond additionally pays semiannual curiosity funds at fastened coupon charges and normally has a $1,000 face worth. Every bond would pay $35.00 per 12 months till maturity.

How Can You Spend money on Fastened Revenue Securities?

Traders should buy U.S. authorities fixed-income devices by way of TreasuryDirect.Company bonds or bond funds could be bought by way of a monetary dealer. Certificates of Deposit are bought by way of monetary brokers or banks.

What Are the Dangers of Investing in Fastened Revenue Devices?

Fastened revenue devices require traders to commit their cash for an prolonged interval, typically as much as thirty years. As market situations change, the market rate of interest might exceed the fastened revenue price of the safety, inflicting a loss to the funding. Inflationary pressures can even have an effect on the market worth of fixed-income securities.

What Does It Imply to Default on a Fastened-Revenue Safety?

Default is the failure to make required curiosity or principal repayments on a debt, whether or not that debt is a mortgage or a safety. People, companies, and even international locations can default on their debt obligations. 

The Backside Line

A set-income safety is an funding that gives a gentle curiosity revenue stream for a sure interval. Varieties embody authorities bonds, company bonds, or fixed-income ETFs. Fastened-income securities are rated by credit score companies that assess the default danger for traders. These investments sometimes pay a decrease price of return than different investments.