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Dirty Price


The dirty price is a term in finance which refers to the actual total price of a bond. It includes both the clean price (the price of the bond itself) and accrued interest since the last paid coupon payment. In the context of bond trading, if you buy a bond at its dirty price, you are compensating the seller for the next coupon payment they will miss out on.


The phonetics of “Dirty Price” is: /ˈdə:rti praɪs/.

Key Takeaways

<ol><li>Dirty price is the price of a bond including both the cost of the bond and the interest that accrues on the bond between periodic payments of interest. It represents the total cost for the buyer to purchase the bond and includes any accrued interest up to the point of sale.</li><li>It’s called ‘dirty’ because it reflects the bond’s total value at a given point in time, both the investment’s intrinsic value and the element of interest. The intrinsic value of a bond, the part that does not account for accrued interest, is dubbed as the ‘clean price’. </li><li>The dirty price is the most accurate measure of a bond’s actual cost. Hence, it is a vital figure for investors who are contemplating an investment in bonds or fixed-income securities. It allows them to understand and compare actual costs of bonds in various markets or issued by diverse entities.</li></ol>


The business/finance term “Dirty Price” is important as it gives the true cost of a bond which is being sold in the secondary market. Unlike the clean price, which only denotes the current price of the bond itself, the dirty price includes the accrued interest that has built up since the last interest payment. This enhanced understanding allows the investor to have a realistic idea of the total amount of investment that will be required. This helps in providing complete transparency, resulting in more accurate financial planning and avoiding any hidden costs often associated with bond investments. The accurate knowledge of the dirty price enables more efficient, informed, and thus potentially profitable trading decisions.


The purpose of a dirty price in finance, particularly in bond trading and investment, is to reflect the total cost of purchasing a bond inclusive of accrued interest. Accrued interest is the profit that has been accumulated since the last payment date – it continues to build until the next scheduled interest payment. A buyer of a bond pays the seller for the accrued interest as part of the bond purchase. Thus, the dirty price provides a complete valuation that accounts for the fact that interest amounts are continually accumulating on bonds between payment dates.This term is used widely in the secondary markets where bonds are frequently bought and sold. It is crucial in bond pricing because it helps investors accurately compare the costs of different bonds. For instance, if you are considering buying two bonds which are identical other than their last interest payment date, the bond that most recently paid interest will have a lower dirty price because less interest has accrued. By considering the dirty price, investors are able to make more informed decisions as they understand the total value they are receiving for their investment.


1. Government Bonds: Governments often issue bonds as a way of generating funds. When you buy a government bond, you’re essentially giving a loan to the government. The price that you pay for a bond often includes both the clean price (the value of the bond itself) and accrued interest, making it a “dirty price”. For example, if the U.S. Treasury issues a bond with a face value of $1000 with a 5% annual interest rate and someone buys the bond halfway through the year, the dirty price will be the bond price plus the accrued interest (half of the 5% annual interest).2. Corporate Bonds: Similar to government bonds, corporates also issue bonds to raise capital for different purposes such as expansion, debt refinancing, or to fund ongoing operations. If a corporation issues bonds and investors purchase them partway through the interest payment period, the bond’s total purchase price (dirty price) would be the bond’s price plus any interest earned since the last payment.3. Mortgage-Backed Securities: These are a type of bond that use a pool of home loans as collateral. Instead of receiving interest at regular intervals, mortgage-backed securities pay back a part of the principal along with interest in every payment. Therefore, the dirty price of a mortgage-backed security will always include the accrued interest since the last payment, plus any partial repayments of principal that are due to the investor.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Dirty Price?

A Dirty Price is a bond pricing quote reflecting the price of a bond that includes both the cost of the bond itself and any interest that has accrued since the last payment period.

How is Dirty Price different from a Clean Price?

While Dirty Price takes into account accrued interest, the Clean Price is the price of a bond excluding any accrued interest. Basically, the Clean Price is the Dirty Price minus the accrued interest.

When would I buy a bond at a Dirty Price?

A bond can be bought at a dirty price between its coupon payment dates. During this period, some interest has accrued that the buyer will have to pay, as the next coupon payment will be received entirely by the new bondholder.

How is Dirty Price used in finance?

Dirty Price is often used in bond market for pricing bonds. It gives a more accurate picture of the total cost associated with buying the bond, making it easier for investors to compare the costs of various bonds.

Is Dirty Price used globally?

Yes, in most bond markets around the world, bond prices are quoted as dirty prices. However, in the United States bond market, bonds are usually quoted as clean prices.

Why it is called a Dirty Price?

The term “dirty” purports to the fact that the price includes not just the value of the bond, but also any unpaid interest that has accumulated. Conversely, a clean price excludes this interest.

Can the Dirty Price change?

Yes, the Dirty Price of a bond can change. It can be affected by several factors such as changes in interest rates, overall demand for bonds in the market, and the credit quality of the issuer.

How is the Dirty Price calculated?

The Dirty Price of a bond is calculated by adding the clean price and the accrued interest. The accrued interest is figured out by multiplying the bond’s coupon rate by the fraction of the coupon period that has elapsed since the last payment.

Related Finance Terms

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