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Nominal Yield


Nominal yield, in finance, refers to the interest rate stated on a bond or other fixed income security when it’s first issued. It is also known as the coupon rate, because it’s the annual dollar amount of interest paid to investors divided by the face value of the bond. However, it does not consider the effect of reinvested interest or purchasing power changes due to inflation.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Nominal Yield” is: /ˈnɒmɪnəl jiːld/.

Key Takeaways


  1. Nominal Yield, also known as the coupon rate or nominal rate, is the interest percentage that is printed on the face of the bond certificate. This rate is fixed and doesn’t change throughout the life of the bond.
  2. Nominal Yield is used to calculate the annual income that an investor will receive while holding a particular bond. The calculation of nominal yield doesn’t consider the market price of the bond; it only considers the face value and the rate of interest that can be earned on this face value.
  3. Despite providing valuable information, Nominal Yield doesn’t take into account the time value of money or the present value of future cash flows. Hence, it can sometimes be misleading as an indicator of the actual return on investment from a bond, especially if the bond is not held to maturity.



Nominal yield is important in business and finance as it represents the interest rate stated in the bond contract and, thus, determines the amount of income an investor is set to generate from an investment annually. It is expressed as a percentage of the security’s face or par value. Understanding nominal yield helps investors analyze and compare investment options as it directly impacts cash flows and expected returns. However, it’s vital to note that the nominal yield does not account for the effects of inflation, taxes, or compounding, meaning it doesn’t provide the true yield of an investment.


Nominal yield, also known as the coupon rate, is primarily a tool used by investors in bond markets. It essentially determines the annual income that they can expect to earn from a bond, as it is fixed and expressed in terms of a percentage of the bond’s par or face value. For instance, if a bond has a par value of $1,000 and a nominal yield of 3%, the investor is promised an annual payment of $30. The purpose of nominal yield is to provide an indication of the interest income that an investor can anticipate from a bond, thereby assisting the investor in making an informed decision about whether or not to invest debt security. However, investors should not rely solely on the nominal yield when estimating a bond’s potential return or when comparing two or more bonds. Other factors such as bond price, time until maturity, and credit risk of the issuer are also important considerations.


1. Bonds: One of the most common examples of nominal yield would be the yield on bonds or other types of fixed income instruments. For instance, if a corporate bond has a face value of $1000 and an annual coupon rate of 5%, the nominal yield of this bond would be $50 per year. 2. Dividend Stocks: Another example could be the yield on a dividend-paying stock. For instance, if a company pays a yearly dividend of $2 per share and the stock price is $40, the nominal yield would be 5%.3. Certificates of Deposit: Finally, Certificates of Deposit (or CDs) offered by banks also have a nominal yield. If a bank offers a CD with a 2% annual interest rate, this is the CD’s nominal yield. In practice, the actual earnings can be less due to taxes and inflation, which is why it’s important to understand the difference between nominal and real yield.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Nominal Yield?

Nominal Yield, also known as the coupon rate or nominal rate, refers to the interest rate stated on a bond or other fixed income security when it’s issued. It’s called ‘nominal’ because it does not take any other factors into account like the time value of money or inflation.

What is the importance of Nominal Yield in finance?

The Nominal Yield provides investors with a baseline for gauging the return on their investment. It helps investors understand how much they can expect to earn annually from their investment in a bond or fixed income security.

How do I calculate Nominal Yield?

The Nominal Yield is calculated by dividing the annual coupon payment by the face value of the bond. It’s typically expressed as a percentage.

How does Nominal Yield differ from Real Yield?

While Nominal Yield refers to the interest rate stated on a bond, Real Yield adjusts the Nominal Yield by accounting for factors such as inflation. Therefore, Real Yield might provide a more accurate representation of an investor’s purchasing power.

Does the Nominal Yield change over time?

No, the Nominal Yield remains fixed for the life of a bond. It’s determined at the time the bond is issued and does not fluctuate with market conditions.

Does a higher Nominal Yield mean a better investment?

Not necessarily. While a higher Nominal Yield does provide a higher annual return, it’s important to consider other factors like the bond’s maturity date, issuer’s creditworthiness, and current market conditions. Furthermore, a higher yield may also indicate a higher risk.

Can I use Nominal Yield to compare different bonds?

Yes, but it should not be the only factor to consider. While Nominal Yield can provide a good starting point, investors should also consider the bond’s credit rating, term to maturity, and the real yield.

Related Finance Terms

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR): The annualized rate that a borrower pays or an investor earns.
  • Coupon Rate: The fixed percentage of the bond’s par value that a borrower pays to the lenders (bondholders).
  • Current Yield: The ratio of the annual interest payment and the market price of the bond that’s currently traded.
  • Yield to Maturity (YTM): The total yield an investor would receive if they held a bond until its maturity.
  • Par Value: The face value of a bond to be repaid to the bondholder at maturity.

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