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Finance Formulas / July 19, 2018 / Briana Leonard

When you calculate the price of a bond, you are determining the maximum price you would want to pay for the bond, based on how its coupon rate compares to the average rate most investors are currently receiving in the bond market. Due to default risk, investors may require a higher rate of return than the prevailing risk-free rate. In general, the greater the default risk on a given bond issue, the higher the required rate of return.

You can use the bond price formula to determine the value of a bond. While it involves some number crunching, it’s a fairly straightforward process because future cash flows to the investor (the bondholder) are always specified ahead of time. The issuer has to meet the interest and principal payments as they come due, or the bonds will go into default – something that can have devastating consequences for the issuer and, in the case of corporate bonds, its shareholders.

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