Investing in bonds basics of electricity

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investing in bonds basics of electricity

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Below are some resources and articles that you may want to use as you form your investment plan. By lending money to companies, you can often enjoy higher yields than you get on other types of bonds. For most investors who are in middle to higher tax brackets, it's better to buy corporate bonds in a tax shelter such as a Rollover IRA. This complete beginner's guide to investing in municipal bonds , which are exempt from certain state taxes under certain situations.

It is a great place to begin if you are in a middle to high tax bracket. By investing in your local schools, hospitals, and municipalities, you can not only help your community but also make money. Once you're ready to move beyond the very basics, you can read Tests of Safety for Municipal Bonds. This article will teach you some of the calculations you can do, the considerations you should make when looking at a municipal bond investment. Get a broad education on savings bonds , their history, considerations before adding them to your portfolio, and tax notes.

These unique bonds offer tax advantages for education funding, the guarantee of the United States Treasury, a fixed rate of return for up to thirty years, and more. Series I savings bonds feature an interest rate based, in part, on changes in inflation, are guaranteed to never lose money and are backed by the taxing power of the United States Government. This collection of articles will teach you how to invest in Series I savings bonds, tell you who is eligible to own them, and explain the annual purchase limits.

Many new investors don't know whether they should own bonds outright or invest in bonds through a special type of mutual fund known as a bond fund. What are the differences, benefits, and advantages? Take a few moments to read the article to discover the answers. One of the most alluring types of bonds new investors often spot is something known as a junk bond.

Boasting high, double-digit yields during ordinary interest rate environments, these dangerous bonds can lure you in with the promise of big checks in the mail, yet leave you high and dry when the companies that issue them miss payments or go bankrupt. Stick to investment-grade bonds, instead. If you don't know what you are doing, be extra safe and reserve your holdings to Triple-A rated bonds. The preferred stock of many companies is actually very comparable to bond investments because both types of investments tend to behave the same way.

Although bonds have a reputation that makes people believe they are safer than stocks, there are some real dangers that can hurt new investors who don't know how to reduce risk. Bond bid-ask spreads are a hidden commission charged to you when you buy or sell bonds. They can sometimes cost you hundreds of dollars every time you buy a single bond! Learn how to identify them and the ways they can be minimized. This seemingly simple term actually refers to the fact that if you buy a bond that matures in 30 years, it could fluctuate far more violently than a bond that matures in two years.

In some cases, bonds with high durations can actually fluctuate as much as stocks! Learn what bond duration is and how you can calculate it in this important article. When you buy bonds of other countries or even companies located in other countries, there are very real dangers that you are not exposed to when you purchase in your home country.

If you owned bonds in oil companies headquartered in Venezuela, for instance, you would have found your assets nationalized and seized by former dictator Hugo Chavez without any way to recover what you lost. This article explains those dangers and some of the things you can do to reduce them. Bond prices are often used as a valuation tool to help professional investors determine how expensive stocks and other assets are.

This is done by comparing bond yields on certain types of government bonds to earnings yields on a stock. An investor may consider bonds when they don't want to take on the level of risk required to invest in stocks, commodities , and other investments. To prevent this, codes have been written to determine how we can ensure we have created a proper and safe connection to ground.

Now, consider the same example as before, except the box is installed in a wood frame building and the ground wire has come loose. Depending on several factors such as the type of ladder, footwear, and ground conditions, the unlucky person could get anything from a small shock to a heart-stopping jolt of electricity. This is why grounding is so important; it is the last line of defense in the event of a fault.

There are a variety of ways to create a good ground connection, and they vary by country, region, and application. The most common types can include ground rods, plates, electrodes, or grids of buried ground wire. Even some non-electrical parts, like buried metal water or gas pipes, can be used as an in-situ grounding electrode in certain situations. To join the grounding conductor to the grounding electrode, special fittings must be used.

They may be hydraulic compression fittings, mechanical lugs, or soldered connections. Codes will also state what size and type of conductor to use, and what combination of grounding devices may be used. Large facilities may require a network of grounding devices, wire, grids, and conductors to satisfy code requirements. Always check with your local codes and regulations to ensure that you are installing a safe and code-compliant system.

In some situations, the grounding conductor is also part of the electrical circuit. In single phase power distribution for example, the Earth is used as part of the power circuit, thus eliminating the need for a second wire in the distribution network. The Earth itself becomes the common conductor from the point of utilization back to the power plant or substation.

In this case, it is important not only to have a secure and low resistance path to ground, but to also protect the grounding conductor from damage, especially on the high-voltage utility side of the transformer. If that grounding conductor is broken, the live side of the conductor will take the next lowest resistance path to ground which can cause arcing, arc flash, or fire.

Up to this point, the goal has been to have a low resistance, or impedance, path to ground. But in some facilities, it might be desired that the plant continues to function even in the event of a minor ground fault. In this case, a neutral grounding resistor or NGR can be used to monitor the facility for ground faults while keeping the system operating until the fault is resolved.

This type of system is known as an impedance grounding system because it imposes a set impedance between the earth ground and the facility ground. By monitoring current through the NGR, an automated system can alert facility maintenance crews if it detects a fault without shutting the entire facility down. To learn more, check out this electrical grounding course. While grounding and bonding might seem like the same thing, they have some very important differences.

Electrical bonding is the practice of connecting metallic objects that may be exposed to electrical faults or induced voltages to the grounding conductor. This ensures that in the event of a fault the current will have a low resistance path to take to trip the overcurrent devices as quickly as possible, as well as providing a path for static electricity and induced voltages to drain out.

Bonding conductors must also be sized so that they can safely carry the largest possible load that might occur in a fault condition. Consult your local codes and regulations for how to size these conductors properly. Whenever there is the potential for a conductive metal part to become energized, it must be bonded to ground.

This includes conduit for wires and cables, raceways and cable trays, and service equipment enclosures and junction boxes. Bonding is also required for non-electrical equipment that is near our electrical system like ventilation ducts, water and gas piping, or stairs and handrails.

This is especially important in areas where occupants will be able to come in direct contact with exposed metal parts or areas where there is the potential for explosive gases or dusts to exist. The exact requirements of what you must bond will be listed in your local codes and regulations, but if you are unsure it is generally better to bond it. The most common way to bond is with copper wire. Most electrical boxes will have factory installed bonding terminals or screws that are designed to make bonding quick and easy.

You can also use a crimp lug or a mechanical lug and a nut and bolt connection when there are no factory terminals, or they are too small to accept the correct size of wire. When adding non-factory bonding connections, always scrape away any paint or finishes in the area that you will be connecting your bonding conductor.

Even a thin layer of paint can increase the resistance of your bonding connection and reduce the effectiveness of the bond in the event of a fault. In some cases, conductors other than wire can be considered bonding conductors. For example, threaded metal conduit, EMT with compression fittings, and cable tray can be considered bonding conductors in certain situations, while EMT with standard single screw connections cannot. Always check your local codes and regulations to make sure your bonding system is code compliant.

It is not always necessary to run a continuous wire from the ground to each individual part in a bonding system. In certain conditions, metal parts need only be connected to each other to form a complete bonding system. Typically, panel doors will have a small bonding jumper that bonds the door to the metal backpan or grounding conductor. The sizes of bonding jumpers in panels will typically be specified by the panel manufacturer or by engineered drawings.

In cable tray systems, jumpers are used across swivel joints or expansion joints to ensure that the continuity of the bonding system is maintained. When preparing bonding jumpers for expansion joints, leave an extra bend in the wire or use a flexible bonding jumper to keep a good connection even when the tray expands and contracts.

Cable tray can expand several inches in either direction during extreme heat or cold conditions. When using teck cable, the outer aluminum armor of the cable must also be bonded to ground at both ends. Teck cable will include a bare copper wire for this exact purpose. Connect this electrical wire to a ground bushing which will complete the path from the bonding wire to the cable armor. When installing teck cable into a teck connector, always ensure that the metal ring inside the connector is making good contact with the exposed armor.

This metal ring is what makes the connection from the connector body to the armor. Another important use for electrical bonding is to reduce touch potential, especially in long runs of conductive cable tray. When voltage is applied to a conductor, be it a wire or anything else metallic, there will be some voltage drop across the length of the conductor based on its size, material, and length.

Even highly conductive copper and aluminum has some resistance. Based on the distance from the nearest grounding connection, small differences in potential can occur. If there is a difference between a cable tray and a nearby staircase, someone who touches both metal objects at once might experience a shock. Having more frequent bonding connections will reduce the potential between nearby metallic objects and decrease the chance of unintentional shocks from static or induced voltages.

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Why All Americans Should Be Investing In Bonds investing in bonds basics of electricity

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Corporate bonds are securities and, if publicly offered, must be registered with the SEC. Be wary of any person who attempts to sell non-registered bonds. Most municipal securities issued after July 3, are required to file annual financial information, operating data, and notices of certain events with the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board MSRB.

This information is available free of charge online at www. If the municipal bond is not filed with MSRB, this could be a red flag. Expand your knowledge about investment opportunities in crypto assets on our spotlight page. Updated for ! Please enter some keywords to search. What are bonds? How to buy and sell bonds Understanding fees Avoiding fraud Additional information Why do people buy bonds?

Investors buy bonds because: They provide a predictable income stream. Typically, bonds pay interest twice a year. If the bonds are held to maturity, bondholders get back the entire principal, so bonds are a way to preserve capital while investing. Bonds can help offset exposure to more volatile stock holdings. Companies, governments and municipalities issue bonds to get money for various things, which may include: Providing operating cash flow Financing debt Funding capital investments in schools, highways, hospitals, and other projects What types of bonds are there?

There are three main types of bonds: Corporate bonds are debt securities issued by private and public corporations. These bonds have a higher credit rating, implying less credit risk, than high-yield corporate bonds. These bonds have a lower credit rating, implying higher credit risk, than investment-grade bonds and, therefore, offer higher interest rates in return for the increased risk.

Revenue bonds. Instead of taxes, these bonds are backed by revenues from a specific project or source, such as highway tolls or lease fees. Conduit bonds. Governments sometimes issue municipal bonds on behalf of private entities such as non-profit colleges or hospitals. If the conduit borrower fails to make a payment, the issuer usually is not required to pay the bondholders. Treasuries are issued by the U. Department of the Treasury on behalf of the federal government.

They carry the full faith and credit of the U. Types of U. Treasury debt include: Treasury Bills. Short-term securities maturing in a few days to 52 weeks Notes. Longer-term securities maturing within ten years Bonds. Long-term securities that typically mature in 30 years and pay interest every six months TIPS. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities are notes and bonds whose principal is adjusted based on changes in the Consumer Price Index. Ratings range from AAA to Aaa for high-grade issues very likely to be repaid to D for issues that are currently in default.

Bonds rated BBB to Baa or above are called investment grade. This means they are unlikely to default and tend to remain stable investments. Bonds rated BB to Ba or below are called junk bonds —default is more likely, and they are more speculative and subject to price volatility.

Because the rating systems differ for each agency and change from time to time, research the rating definition for the bond issue you are considering. Bond yields are all measures of return. Yield to maturity is the measurement most often used, but it is important to understand several other yield measurements that are used in certain situations. As noted above, yield to maturity YTM is the most commonly cited yield measurement. It measures what the return on a bond is if it is held to maturity and all coupons are reinvested at the YTM rate.

A simple function is also available on a financial calculator. The current yield can be used to compare the interest income provided by a bond to the dividend income provided by a stock. Keep in mind, this yield incorporates only the income portion of the return, ignoring possible capital gains or losses.

As such, this yield is most useful for investors concerned with current income only. The nominal yield on a bond is simply the percentage of interest to be paid on the bond periodically. It is calculated by dividing the annual coupon payment by the par or face value of the bond. It is important to note that the nominal yield does not estimate return accurately unless the current bond price is the same as its par value.

Therefore, nominal yield is used only for calculating other measures of return. A callable bond always bears some probability of being called before the maturity date. Investors will realize a slightly higher yield if the called bonds are paid off at a premium.

An investor in such a bond may wish to know what yield will be realized if the bond is called at a particular call date, to determine whether the prepayment risk is worthwhile. The realized yield of a bond should be calculated if an investor plans to hold a bond only for a certain period of time, rather than to maturity. In this case, the investor will sell the bond, and this projected future bond price must be estimated for the calculation.

Because future prices are hard to predict, this yield measurement is only an estimation of return. Once an investor masters these few basic terms and measurements to unmask the familiar market dynamics, they can become a competent bond investor. Securities and Exchange Commission. Moody's Investors Service. Accessed Jan. Fixed Income. Your Money.

Personal Finance. Your Practice. Popular Courses. Investopedia Investing. Part of. How to Invest with Confidence. Part Of. Stock Market Basics. How Stock Investing Works. Investing vs. Managing a Portfolio. Stock Research. Key Takeaways Some of the characteristics of bonds include their maturity, their coupon rate, their tax status, and their callability. Most bonds come with ratings that describe their investment grade.

Bond yields measure their returns. Bonds are a form of IOU between the lender and the borrower. Article Sources. Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy. Compare Accounts.

The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where listings appear. Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace. Related Articles. Fixed Income Bond Yield Rate vs. Coupon Rate: What's the Difference?

Partner Links. Related Terms. Bond A bond is a fixed-income investment that represents a loan made by an investor to a borrower, ususally corporate or governmental. What Investors Need to Know Before Investing in Callable Bonds A callable bond is a bond that can be redeemed called in by the issuer prior to its maturity.

Bond Yield Formula and Calculation Bond yield is the amount of return an investor will realize on a bond, calculated by dividing its face value by the amount of interest it pays. What Is Yield Pickup? Yield pickup is the additional interest rate an investor receives by selling a lower-yielding bond and buying a higher-yielding bond.

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Investing Basics: Bonds

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