Stock market

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Many preferred stocks are listed for trading on the NYSE and other exchanges, but they are usually not priced very attractively for individual buyers. The reason is that for corporations desiring to invest for fixed income, preferred stocks carry a tax advantage over bonds. As a result, such corporations generally bid the prices of preferred stocks up above the price that would have to be paid for a bond providing the same income. For the individual buyer, a bond may often be a better buy.

4.1 Bonds-Corporate

Unlike a stock, a bond is evidence not of ownership, but of a loan to a company (or to a government, or to some other organization). It is a debt obligation. When you buy a corporate bond, you have bought a portion of a large loan, and your rights are those of a lender. You are entitled to interest payments at a specified rate, and to repayment of the full "face amount" of the bond on a specified date. The fixed interest payments are usually made semiannually. The quality of a corporate bond depends on the financial strength of the issuing corporation.

Bonds are usually issued in units of $1,000 or $5,000, but bond prices are quoted on the basis of 100 as "par" value. A bond price of 96 means that a bond of $1,000 face value is actually selling at $960 And so on.

Many corporate bonds are traded on the NYSE, and newspapers carry a separate daily table showing bond trading. The major trading in corporate bonds, however, takes place in large blocks of $100,000 or more traded off the Exchange by brokers and dealers acting for their own account or for institutions.

4.2 Bonds-U. S. Government

U.S. Treasury bonds (long-term), notes (intermediate-term) and bills (short-term), as well as obligations of the various U. S. government agencies, are traded away from the exchanges in a vast professional market where the basic unit of trading is often $ 1 million face value in amount. However, trades are also done in smaller amounts, and you can buy Treasuries in lots of $5,000 or $10,000 through a regular broker. U. S. government bonds are regarded as providing investors with the ultimate in safety.

4.3 Bonds-Municipal

Bonds issued by state and local governments and governmental units are generally referred to as "municipals" or "tax-exempts", since the income from these bonds is largely exempt from federal income tax.

Tax-exempt bonds are attractive to individuals in higher tax brackets and to certain institutions. There are many different issues and the newspapers generally list only a small number of actively traded municipals. The trading takes place in a vast, specialized over-the-counter market. As an offset to the tax advantage, interest rates on these bonds are generally lower than on U. S. government or corporate bonds. Quality is usually high, but there are variations according to the financial soundness of the various states and communities.

4.4 Convertible Securities

A convertible bond (or convertible debenture) is a corporate bond that can be converted into the company's common stock under certain terms. Convertible preferred stock carries a similar "conversion privilege". These securities are intended to combine the reduced risk of a bond or preferred stock with the advantage of conversion to common stock if the company is successful. The market price of a convertible security generally represents a combination of a pure bond price (or a pure preferred stock price) plus a premium for the conversion privilege. Many convertible issues are listed on the NYSE and other exchanges, and many others are traded over-the-counter

Реферат опубликован: 3/03/2010