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U.S. Bond Investing Basics

Interactive Brokers via Coursera


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In this fixed income course, you will learn to distinguish between different types of U.S. dollar-denominated corporate and municipal debt issuance, identify corporate and municipal bonds available to purchase and sell on an online trading platform, grasp the market mechanics underlying each type of fixed income instrument, as well as conduct basic analyses, and flag critical investment risks. At the end of the course, you should be able to describe different types of corporate and municipal bond products available to buy and sell, some of the related risks you, as an investor, are likely to face, certain ways of mitigating them, as well as how to use an online trading platform to identify available securities to invest in, conduct due diligence, and much more


  • Introduction to Municipal Bonds
    • In this module, you will learn to: differentiate different types of municipal debt-Identify different features of municipal bonds available to purchase and sell on an online trading platform; track the trading performance of municipal bonds in the secondary market; grasp the market mechanics underlying municipal bond issuance; conduct fundamental, governance, and default risk analyses and calculate debt service coverage ratios.
  • Municipal Bond Analysis & Tax Considerations
    • Determine how taxes are applied to different types of fixed income issuance, including in-state and out- of-state municipal bond purchases, Build America Bonds (BABs), corporate bonds and U.S. Treasuries, as well as examine recent tax law changes, and how taxes apply to capital gains and losses. Learn how to compare the yields of tax-exempt and taxable debt issuance, as well as explore how taxes are applied to different types of municipal bonds. Learn how to access detailed municipal bond reports through an online trading platform, as well as consult resources such as the MSRB's EMMA, which houses critical municipal bond documentation and data, including Official Statements and Continuing Disclosures.
  • Introduction to U.S. Corporate Bonds
    • Learn what it means for a company to fail to honor its debt obligations and what this portends for its creditors, define the recourse corporate bondholders have in the wake of a company's default or bankruptcy filing, as well as describe certain default risk mitigation methods.Explore how Investors of corporate bonds may commit a tremendous amount of time to fundamental analysis to inform their investment decisions – conducting analyses on credit, market, liquidity, operational, and political risks, among countless others – when considering the potential for default. Examine how interest rate changes and central bank monetary policies can affect corporate bond prices, as well as influence levels of supply and demand in the market. Identify the steps involved in the creation of a corporate bond issuance, as well as examine some of the regulatory rules that govern this process. Examine the differences between yields and prices of corporate bonds trading in the secondary market, as well as explore the nature of basis point spreads.

Taught by

Steven Levine


4.6 rating at Coursera based on 47 ratings

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