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With Bonds All Things Are Equal

Posted by Samuel A. Kiburz on Sep 20, 2022 11:06:58 AM

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shows the average cumulative global corporate default rate from 1981-2021 in seven year spans

Today's Chart of the Day comes from an article in AAII.com (American Association of Individual Investors) and shows the average cumulative global corporate default rate from 1981-2021 in seven year spans.

A common misconception is that the yield you see from a bond portfolio is what you can expect to earn. However, this is a best case scenario as some of the bonds will ultimately default, causing a loss that reduces the yield.

In rough figures, if you take the weighted average default rate of all speculative/junk bonds and assume a 50% loss of principal of those bonds, over seven years this can reduce your total return by 2.9% annually.

The current yield to maturity on speculative/junk bonds is 7.6%. When you add in the historical loss of 2.9%, this reduces the total return to 4.7%, which happens to be the same yield of 4.7% in an investment grade bond with a similar maturity.

Topics: Chart of the Day, Managing your Wealth