DEFLATION Definition

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DEFLATION is a contraction of economic activity resulting in a decline of prices.

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STRAIGHT BOND is the most common debt security. All other bond types are variations of, or additions to standard straight bond features. An investor pays a single capital sum to receive interest payments, called coupons, until a fixed maturity date when the last coupon is accompanied by redemption of the bonds face value. The coupon is simply a fixed rate of interest - paid annually or semi-annually - on the principal sum or face/par value. The debt is of fixed maturity - the principal redemption date. The maximum term is 30 years, but 7-10 years is most common.

DURATION, in securities, is a measure in years of interest rate risk for a specific security or portfolio. Duration is the weighted average time to receive the present value of cash flows from a specific security or portfolio. When the duration is divided by the discount rate plus one, the resulting modified duration measures the sensitivity of a bond to changes in interest rates. Used by bond managers instead of maturity as it accounts for all principal and interest cash flows in addition to the final maturity payment. For example, the duration of a 10-year zero-coupon bond equals its maturity of 10, while the duration of a 10-year 7.5% coupon bond is less than seven years.

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