cushion bond

Cushion Bond

A callable bond with coupons that are above prevailing interest rates. A cushion bond is more expensive than other bonds. If interest rates rise, the value of a cushion bond depreciates less than other bonds because its interest rate was already high compared to others. However, if interest rates fall, the issuer may call the bond, resulting in less appreciation and a greater prepayment risk.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved

cushion bond

A high-coupon bond that sells at a price only slightly above par because of a call provision permitting the issuer to repurchase the security near its current price. A cushion bond has an unusually high current yield, little chance for a price rise, and considerable protection against falling prices caused by increased interest rates.
Can a cushion bond pad the conservative investor's backside against the impact of rising interest rates?

A cushion bond can protect a conservative investor against rising interest rates because the higher the coupon rate on a bond, the less dramatic the price change for a given shift in that bond's yield to maturity. This makes sense when one considers how much greater a percentage change 25 basis points is when yields are 5%, compared with yields at 10%. Furthermore, the longer the maturity period, the greater the price change for a particular move in that bond's yield to maturity. Because cushion bonds are by definition premium-priced bonds that trade on a yield to call basis, rather than a yield to maturity basis, their price swings account for shifts in interest rates for shorter time periods. Thus their price swings should be less dramatic when interest rates rise.

Stephanie G. Bigwood, CFP, ChFC, CSA, Assistant Vice President, Lombard Securities, Incorporated, Baltimore, MD
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.