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With financial markets becoming more volatile and interest rates rising, many investors and traders wonder if bonds still represent a haven for their money. Bonds have long been regarded as more stable investments compared to stocks. But in what way?

In this handy guide, understand how bonds can benefit your financial portfolio.

How bonds work: Lenders, borrowers, and interest

Many of us encounter the question, “Are bonds safe?” To answer this, we must first understand the basics of bonds. A bond simply represents a loan.

When you purchase a bond, you lend money to an entity, be it a corporation, municipality, or government. In return for this loan, the issuer promises to pay interest periodically. This interest is the investor’s reward for lending the money. The interest rate, often called the coupon rate, is fixed and agreed upon at the time of the bond’s issuance.


Here’s why bonds are safe

1. Principal repayment

One primary reason many financial experts often emphasise that bonds are safe is the concept of principal repayment. When you invest or trade in bonds, there’s an agreement that, upon its maturity date, the issuer will return the bond’s face value to you. This is the initial investment amount you put into the bond.


A person is signing a document across from another individual, with a gavel and scales of justice on the desk


Unlike high-risk investments, where one might lose capital, bonds come with a promise. This promise is to repay the full face value once the bond matures. So, when you’re assessing whether bonds are safe or not, the commitment to principal repayment provides a strong affirmative.

2. Priority in repayment

Bondholders stand at the front of the line if a company faces financial turmoil and needs to liquidate its assets to pay off debts. Before any stockholders see a dime, bondholders are typically repaid first. This hierarchy in repayment prioritises bondholders over stockholders, adding a layer of security.


3. Government backing

Bonds, particularly government and municipal ones, come with unparalleled assurance.

When a government entity backs a bond, it essentially means that the full faith and credit of that government stand behind its obligation.

If, for any reason, there’s a shortcoming in repayment from the main issuing body, the government steps in to ensure that investors receive their due amount. This is especially true for federal government bonds in many countries.

For instance, when you invest in US Treasury bonds, you are lending money to the Federal Reserve. Given the US government’s robust economic stature and stability, the risk associated with these bonds is perceived to be minimal. This is why they’re often termed as “risk-free” securities, even though nothing is truly without risk in the finance world.

On the other hand, municipal bonds are issued by local government entities. While they might not have the same global economic influence as federal bonds, they still come with a significant degree of security.

After all, a local government’s ability to tax its residents provides a consistent revenue stream, ensuring they can meet bond obligations. Therefore, when pondering the idea, are bonds safe? Government backing offers a resounding endorsement of their security.

4. Rating systems

Credit rating agencies have methodologies to provide investors clarity and direction on what bonds can give high potential returns. Their primary role is to assess the creditworthiness of bond issuers. This involves a detailed examination of the issuer’s financial health, past track record, future economic prospects, and several other intricate factors.


two people pointing at a document


Once the assessment is complete, these agencies assign a rating to the bond. Bonds that receive a high rating, like AAA or AA, are considered top-notch in terms of creditworthiness.

They denote a strong financial standing of the issuer and, as a result, a minimal risk of default. These bonds, with their stamp of approval from rating agencies, are highly sought after by conservative investors and traders.

Popular credit rating agencies you must know

  • Moody’s investors service: Moody’s is a globally recognised credit rating agency that provides credit assessments for bonds and other financial instruments, with ratings ranging from investment-grade (e.g., Aaa) to speculative or non-investment-grade (e.g., Ba).
  • Standard & Poor’s (S&P) global ratings: S&P is one of the largest credit rating agencies, offering credit evaluations on bonds and various debt securities, serving as a critical resource for investors, issuers, and financial markets
  • Fitch Ratings: Fitch is another major credit rating agency that assesses and assigns credit ratings to bonds, helping market participants gauge the creditworthiness and risk associated with different debt issuers and offerings.
  • DBRS Morningstar: DBRS Morningstar is known for its credit ratings and research across various sectors, including structured finance, government debt, and corporate bonds, contributing to transparency and informed investment decisions.
  • Kroll bond rating agency (KBRA): KBRA specialises in credit ratings for structured finance and securitised products, offering an independent perspective on these complex financial instruments’ risk and credit quality.
  • Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR): JCR is a prominent credit rating agency in Japan, providing credit assessments for Japanese issuers and contributing to evaluating credit risk in the Japanese financial markets.

You might also like to read: How Trading Works

5. Inflation-protected bonds

A recurrent concern when people ask, are bonds safe? It revolves around the decline of purchasing power due to inflation. While secured in terms of principal repayment, traditional bonds might only sometimes provide returns that outpace inflation. This is where inflation-protected bonds come in, enhancing the safety quotient of bond investments.

Take, for instance, Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS). These are special types of US government bonds designed specifically to safeguard investors from the adverse impacts of inflation.

When you invest in TIPS, not only is the principal amount adjusted semi-annually based on inflation but the interest rate, fixed at the onset, is applied to the adjusted principal. Therefore, the semi-annual interest payments and the matured principal amount rise with inflation.

What this means for investors is a double layer of protection. First, like all government bonds, there’s the assurance of principal repayment. And second, there’s the certainty that inflation will not affect the returns over time. Are bonds safe enough? We have one more reason why it is a good investment source in the next section.

Take your time to read this article: Inflation and recession - can you have both?

6. Regulation and oversight

The bond market, being a significant pillar of the global financial system, is under the watchful eyes of financial authorities. These entities ensure that the market functions smoothly, transparently, and, most importantly, fairly.


White diceblocks displaying symbols of a checkmark and a warning sign on a blue background.


Different countries have their respective regulatory bodies overseeing the bond market. In the US, for instance, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) takes the lead, establishing rules that bond issuers must adhere to.

These rules mandate rigorous disclosure of financial information, ensuring investors and traders can access all pertinent data before making an investment decision.

The oversight doesn’t stop at the issuance stage. Regulatory bodies continuously monitor bond trading activities and ensure that no unfair or manipulative trading practices are taking place. They also keep an eye on credit rating agencies, ensuring their evaluations are unbiased and based on solid, factual data.

For investors and traders, this robust framework of regulation and oversight offers an added layer of confidence. It ensures that they are operating in a market where rules are clear, risks are outlined, and malpractices are swiftly dealt with.


Expand your knowledge with this article: 5 common trading mistakes to avoid


So, to end the debate, are bonds safe?

Bonds can be safe and risky depending on your trading strategies and knowledge of trading bonds. 

But in general, with its characteristics alone, bonds are a good investment asset due to their principal repayment, ensuring investors get their initial investment back when the bond matures.

Bondholders have priority in repayment during financial distress. Government backing, especially for government and municipal bonds, adds assurance. Credit rating agencies assess issuer creditworthiness, providing clarity to investors. Inflation-protected bonds like TIPS guard against inflation’s impact.

Finally, strong regulation and oversight ensure transparency and investor protection, enhancing confidence in bonds as a secure investment.


Trade and learn more about bonds on

Are you looking for a platform that is user-friendly and tailored for both beginners and experienced traders alike? You can trade bonds and other assets on Our platform offers a contract for difference (CFD) trading option. In this type of trading, you will be speculating the price of your chosen bonds without having an actual asset.

When deciding to trade bonds, a CFD trading calculator will make calculating your hypothetical P/L (aggregated cost and charges) easier. Using our calculator, you can quickly evaluate any position you hold or are about to open by calculating its spread, margin requirement, overnight swap and more.

Aside from that, you can also further expand your knowledge of’s Education Centre. We offer Trading 101, which provides tips, strategies, and how-to guides. Our trading definitions make it easier to understand complex terms.

Whether you’re just starting or looking to expand your trading knowledge, our platform is here to support your financial journey every step of the way.

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When considering “CFD bonds” for trading and price predictions, remember that trading CFDs involves a significant degree of risk and could result in capital loss. Past performance is not indicative of any future results. This information is provided for informative purposes only and should not be construed to be investment advice.”

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