You may have noticed articles in the media about investors “chasing yield,” the so-called “bond bubble,” or predictions about declines in bond prices. some of these warnings about a drop in bond prices relate to the potential for a rise in interest rates. Interest rate risk is common to all bonds, particularly bonds with a fixed rate coupon, even u.s. treasury bonds. (Many bonds pay a fixed rate of interest throughout their term; interest payments are called coupon payments, and the interest rate is called the coupon rate.)
The purpose of this Investor Bulletin is to provide investors with a better understanding of the relationship among market interest rates, bond prices, and yield to maturity of treasury bonds, in particular, although many of the concepts discussed below generally apply to other types of bonds as well. this Investor Bulletin is a companion piece to our Investor Bulletins on Corporate Bonds, High-Yield Bonds, and Municipal Bonds. For a basic explanation of how bonds operate and their terminology, please see our Investor Bulletin on Corporate Bonds.