Last Updated 29 Dec 2016

Fixed Income Securities

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ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FOR CHAPTER 1 (Questions are in bold print followed by answers. ) 2. What is meant by a mortgage-backed security? A mortgage-backed security is a security backed by one or more mortgage loans. Like a bond that is callable, a mortgage-backed security allows the investor to grant the borrower an option. 4. What is the cash flow of a 10-year bond that pays coupon interest semiannually, has a coupon rate of 7%, and has a par value of $100,000? The principal or par value of a bond is the amount that the issuer agrees to repay the bondholder at the maturity date.

The coupon rate multiplied by the principal of the bond provides the dollar amount of the coupon (or annual amount of the interest payment). A 10-year bond with a 7% annual coupon rate and a principal of $100,000 will pay semiannual interest of (0. 07/2)($100,000) = $3,500 for 10(2) = 20 periods. Thus, the cash flow is $3,500. In addition to this periodic cash, the issuer of the bond is obligated to pay back the principal of $100,000 at the time the last $3,500 is paid. 6. Give three reasons why the maturity of a bond is important.

There are three reasons why the term to maturity of a bond is important. First, the term to maturity indicates the time period over which the holder of the bond can expect to receive the coupon payments and the number of years before the principal will be paid in full. Second, the term to maturity is important because the yield on a bond depends on it. The shape of the yield curve determines how the term to maturity affects the yield. Third, the price of a bond will fluctuate over its life as yields in the market change.

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The volatility of a bond’s price is dependent on its maturity. More specifically, with all other factors constant, the longer the maturity of a bond, the greater the price volatility resulting from a change in market yields. 8. Explain whether or not an investor can determine today what the cash flow of a floating-rate bond will be. Floating-rate bonds are issues where the coupon rate resets periodically based on a general formula equal to the reference rate plus the quoted margin. The reference rate is some index subject to change.

The exact change is unknown and uncertain. Thus, an investor cannot determine today what the cash flow of a floating-rate bond will be in the future. 10. What is an inverse-floating-rate bond? While the coupon on floating-rate bonds reliant on an interest rate benchmark typically rises as the benchmark rises and falls as the benchmark falls, there are issues whose coupon interest rate moves in the opposite direction from the change in interest rates. Such issues are called inverse floaters. 12. (a) What is meant by an amortizing security?

The principal repayment of a bond issue can be for either the total principal to be repaid at maturity or for the principal to be repaid over the life of the bond. In the latter case, there is a schedule of principal repayments. This schedule is called an amortization schedule. Loans that have this amortizing feature are automobile loans and home mortgage loans. There are securities that are created from loans that have an amortization schedule. These securities will then have a schedule of periodic principal repayments.

Such securities are referred to as amortizing securities. (b) Why is the maturity of an amortizing security not a useful measure? For amortizing securities, investors do not talk in terms of a bond’s maturity. This is because the stated maturity of such securities only identifies when the final principal payment will be made. The repayment of the principal is being made over time. 14. What does the call feature in a bond entitle the issuer to do? The most common type of option embedded in a bond is a call feature.

This provision grants the issuer the right to retire the debt, fully or partially, before the scheduled maturity date. 16. What does the put feature in a bond entitle the bondholder to do? An issue with a put provision included in the indenture grants the bondholder the right to sell the issue back to the issuer at par value on designated dates. The advantage to the bondholder is related to the possibility that if interest rates rise after the issue date (thereby reducing a bond’s price) the bondholder can force the issuer to redeem the bond at par value. 8. How do market participants gauge the default risk of a bond issue? It is common to define credit risk as the risk that the issuer of a bond will fail to satisfy the terms of the obligation with respect to the timely payment of interest and repayment of the amount borrowed. This form of credit risk is called default risk. Market participants gauge the default risk of an issue by looking at the default rating or credit rating assigned to a bond issue by one of the three rating companies—Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch. 0. Does an investor who purchases a zero-coupon bond face reinvestment risk? The calculation of the yield of a bond assumes that the cash flows received are reinvested. The additional income from such reinvestment, sometimes called interest-on-interest, depends on the prevailing interest-rate levels at the time of reinvestment, as well as on the reinvestment strategy. Variability in the reinvestment rate of a given strategy because of changes in market interest rates is called reinvestment risk.

This risk is that the interest rate at which interim cash flows can be reinvested will fall. Reinvestment risk is greater for longer holding periods, as well as for bonds with large, early cash flows, such as high-coupon bonds. For zero-coupon bonds, interest is reinvested at the same rate as the coupon rate. This eliminates any risk associated with the possibility that coupon payments will be reinvested at a lower rate. However, if rates go up, then the zero coupon bond will fall in value because its “locked-in” rate is below the higher market rate. 22.

What is meant by marking a position to market? Marking a position to market means that periodically the market value of a portfolio must be determined. Thus, it can refer to the practice of reporting the value of assets on a market rather than book value basis. Marking to market can also refer to settling or reconciling changes in the value of futures contracts on a daily basis. 24. What is risk risk? There have been new and innovative structures introduced into the bond market. Money managers do not always understand the risk/return characteristics of these securities.

Risk risk is defined as not knowing what the risk of a security is because those involved in issuing and buying securities are not aware of what can happen. There are two ways to mitigate or eliminate risk risk. The first approach is to keep up with the literature on the state-of-the-art methodologies for analyzing securities. The second approach is to avoid securities that are not clearly understood. 26. What is a price-risk-transferring innovation? A price-risk-transferring innovation is an innovation that provides market participants with more efficient means for dealing with price or exchange rate risk.

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