Table of Contents

Roll-Down Return


Roll-Down Return is a financial term primarily used in the bond market to explain the potential return that may be generated as a bond moves closer to its maturity date with all other factors remaining unchanged. If interest rates remain the same, price of a bond will tend to “roll down” the yield curve, generating capital gains for the investor. Therefore, Roll-Down Return represents the potential earnings from this effect.


The phonetics of “Roll-Down Return” would be: /rōl-doun rəˈtərn/

Key Takeaways

Sure, here is the information presented in HTML numbered list format:“`html

  1. Roll-Down Return is a fixed income strategy that tries to capture the gain achieved through the price appreciation of a bond as it approaches maturity and “rolls down” the yield curve.
  2. This strategy offers higher returns in declining interest rate environments, since the price of the bond increases as it gets closer to its maturity. Conversely, rising interest rates can result in a decrease in bond prices and reduce the effectiveness of the roll-down strategy.
  3. In order to maximize roll-down returns, bonds with steeper yield curves and shorter time to maturity are preferred as they roll down the yield curve more quickly, providing greater capital gains potential.



The business/finance term Roll-Down Return is important because it offers an effective method for comparing potential earnings across different investments. This term refers to the potential return an investor can anticipate when an asset or position moves towards its maturity. It is particularly useful in the bond market, where the change in yield of a bond due to passage of time can influence its overall return. Understanding the concept of roll-down return allows investors to consider the impact of time value on the performance of their investments in the case of a stable yield curve. This can aid in making more informed investment decisions by factoring in not just the traditional parameters like interest rates or credit risks, but also the time-to-maturity profile of their investments.


Roll-down return serves as a predictive tool widely used in fixed-income asset management, as it attempts to forecast the potential return on a bond if its yield were to move towards a historical norm over a specific time period. It’s particularly useful in market environments where interest rates are projected to change. This concept can be used as part of a bond trading strategy where the investor seeks to exploit expected changes in the yield curve.In practice, Roll-Down Return is most often employed in relative value strategies in the fixed income market due to the predictability and regularity of bond and interest market cycles. It’s typically seen as a supplementary yield incurred as a bond ages and “rolls down” the yield curve, especially in a normal upward-sloping yield curve scenario. Therefore, investors and financial managers utilize roll-down return as part of their strategy to maximize returns on bonds by selling them when the roll-down return is at its maximum, often before the bond has reached maturity.


Roll-down return is a fixed income strategy applicable to bonds. It refers to the potential increase in the bond’s value as it approaches maturity. Here are three examples:1. Treasury Bonds: Likely the most heavily traded type of bond on the market, U.S. Treasury bonds often experience this phenomenon. Say an investor purchases a 10-year treasury bond with a yield of 3.5%. As time passes and the bond moves closer to its maturity, the yield—assuming it’s held in a normal, upward sloping yield curve—will decrease, and with it the bond’s price will increase. This price increase, resulting from the decreased yield, can yield a potential roll-down return.2. Corporate Bonds: Suppose an investor purchases corporate bonds from a stable company with a yield of 5% for 5 years. Over time, as interest rates go down or the creditworthiness of the company improves, the yield on these bonds may go down. This will make the price of these bonds go up and provide a roll-down return. 3. Municipal Bonds: Imagine a local government issues a municipal bond with a maturity of 10 years. An investor who buys this bond might anticipate interest rates will go down due to the economic situation. As the bond moves closer to maturity, its yield to maturity decreases and the bond’s price increases, creating an opportunity for roll-down returns. The exact return and numbers can vary widely depending on the precise conditions including, amongst others, the yield curve, initial yield, and time to maturity.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Roll-Down Return in finance?

Roll-Down Return is a measure of return that is expected from a bond if the relative yield by which it is measured remains constant until its maturity. It is often used by bond traders to evaluate the potential return from a bond as it approaches its maturity date.

How is Roll-Down Return calculated?

Roll-Down Return is calculated by subtracting the bond’s yield to maturity from its current yield. This gives the potential return of the bond if the yield remains unchanged until maturity.

Why is Roll-Down Return important in financial analysis?

Roll-Down Return is important because it helps bond traders and investors assess potential returns of a bond over its remaining life. It helps in making more informed decisions on bond investment.

Can Roll-Down Return be negative?

Yes, Roll-Down Return can be negative. This happens in cases where the yield curve is upward sloping or where the bond is trading at a premium.

What is the relationship between Roll-Down Return and the yield curve?

Roll-Down Return is influenced by the shape of the yield curve. If the yield curve is steep, the roll-down return can be higher. Conversely, if the yield curve is flat or inverted, the roll-down return can be smaller or even negative.

What factors can affect Roll-Down Return?

The factors affecting Roll-Down Return include the bond’s current yield, its yield to maturity, the shape of the yield curve, and the bond’s time to maturity.

How does Roll-Down Return compare to other measures of return?

While other measures of return such as yield to maturity and current yield provide a snapshot of potential return at a specific point in time, Roll-Down Return offers a more dynamic measure by considering the change in a bond’s spot rate as it ages towards maturity.

Related Finance Terms

  • Yield Curve: A graph that plots the interest rates of a series of bonds (often government bonds) that have equal credit quality but differing maturity dates.
  • Bond Duration: A measure of the sensitivity of the price of a bond to a change in interest rates, expressed in terms of a number of years.
  • Bond Maturity: The date on which the principal amount of a note, draft, acceptance bond, or other debt instrument becomes due and payable.
  • Interest Rates: The proportion of a loan that is charged as interest to the borrower, typically expressed as an annual percentage of the loan outstanding.
  • Fixed Income Investments: A type of investment security that pays investors fixed interest payments until its maturity date. At maturity, investors are returned the principal amount they had invested.

Sources for More Information

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More