The Meaning of Yield in Finance

Investment Basics: What is the Meaning of Yield in Finance?

December 12, 2017

Colin OShea By Colin OShea 
Securities Analyst 

It’s only five letters and one syllable, but if someone asked you to define yield, could you? In the world of investing, “yield” can have a variety of meanings.

The Definition of Yield in Finance

Yield can range in meaning from a security’s annual percentage rate of return to the annual income from an investment as a percentage of the price at a particular point in time.

Here’s a look at some common definitions and ways to calculate yield in the world of finance:

Dividend Yield 

Dividend yield is a stock’s annual cash dividend divided by the closing price of the stock. It tells investors how much annual income to expect from the stock, relative to other stocks.

Current Yield 

Current yield is a bond’s annual interest payment divided by the bond’s current market price. Current yield fluctuates based on the price at which a bond is trading for on the secondary market.

Coupon Yield 

Coupon yield is the annual interest paid on a bond shown as a percentage of the bond’s value at maturity. Established when the bond is issued, it shows how much income can be expected each year the investor owns the bond. Coupon yield is fixed and therefore not affected by price fluctuations in the secondary markets.

Yield to Maturity 

Yield to maturity is the rate of return an investor could expect if a bond were held to maturity and all interest payments were reinvested at the yield-to-maturity rate. Yield to maturity includes coupon income, earnings on reinvested income, and capital gains or losses.

Taxable-Equivalent Yield 

Taxable-equivalent yield is the yield on a taxable bond that would give an investor the same after-tax yield as a particular tax-exempt bond. It allows investors to compare the yield of a tax-exempt bond with that of a taxable bond to determine which bond offers a higher yield in the investor’s tax bracket.

Contact an SNB Wealth Management Professional  today to learn more!

About the Author

Colin O'Shea

Colin O'Shea is a Securities Analyst within the Wealth Management Division at Security National Bank, where he researches and analyzes assets and trade securities and helps develop investment strategies. A veteran who served in the U.S. Army for 12 years, O'Shea holds a Business Administration Degree from Morningside College.