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Convertible Bonds: The Basics You Need To Know

Convertible bonds are a common form of corporate debt that investors can convert into company stock. At the heart of a convertible bond is a conversion price, the price at which an investor can exchange their bond for stocks. Convertible bond have an implicit time value because eventually the bond matures, and there’s no more advantage to holding onto the investment.

What are convertible bonds?

Convertible bond are a type of debt security that can be converted into equity. The holder of a convertible bond has the option to convert the bond into shares of the issuing company. Convertible bond are typically issued by startups and small companies that are looking to raise capital.

There are two main types of convertible bonds:

A Straight Convertible Bond This means that the holder of the convertible bond would be able to convert their bond into 12.5% more shares than if they had simply purchased the stock on the open market.

History of Convertible Bond

Convertible bond have a long and storied history, dating back to the early days of corporate finance. The first recorded instance of a convertible bond was in 1693, when the Dutch East India Company issued bond that could be converted into shares of stock.

Convertible bond became increasingly popular in the 19th century as a way for companies to raise capital without giving up equity in their businesses. Convertible bond also offered investors the potential for higher returns if the underlying stock performed well.

The popularity of convertible bond ebbed and flowed over the next few decades, but they experienced a resurgence in the 1980s as a tool for hedge funds and other sophisticated investors. In recent years, convertible bond have once again become a popular financing vehicle for companies seeking to raise capital without giving up equity.

Advantages of Convertible Bonds

Convertible bond offer a number of advantages over traditional bonds. For one, they tend to be more flexible in terms of their terms and conditions. For example, convertible bond typically have shorter maturities than traditional bonds, which makes them less risky for investors.

Furthermore, convertible bond often have lower interest rates than traditional bonds, which makes them more attractive to investors seeking income. Additionally, convertibles typically have higher credit ratings than traditional bonds, which further reduces their risk.

Finally, convertibles offer the potential for capital appreciation if the underlying stock price increases. This means that investors can benefit from both the income stream from the bond and the upside potential of the stock.


Convertible bond have some disadvantages compared to other types of bonds. For one, they are often more expensive than regular bonds because they are considered a higher-risk investment. This is because convertible bond can be converted into shares of stock, which means that their value is linked to the performance of the stock market. If the stock market declines, the value of convertible bond will also go down.

Another disadvantage of convertible bond is that they tend to be more volatile than other types of bonds. This means that their prices can go up and down more sharply in response to changes in market conditions. This can make them a less predictable investment than other types of bonds.

Finally, Convertible bond typically have shorter terms than other types of bonds.


Convertible bond are one of the more complex financial instruments available, but they can be a valuable addition to any portfolio. Hopefully this article has given you a basic understanding of convertible bond and how they work.

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Jack henry
Jack henry
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