Measuring Bond Value
A bond's interest rate is competitive, meaning it is comparable to the rates of other bonds of similar quality being sold at the time. The rate the bond pays at issue generally remains the same until maturity.
A bond's term also helps determine its value. Depending on how soon you'd like repayment of principal and how much risk you're willing to take with your investments, you might want to purchase bonds with shorter or longer terms.
Bond rating companies, like Standard & Poor's, Moody's Investors Service, Inc., and Fitch Ratings, research and rate bonds by concentrating primarily on assessing their credit risk.
The yield curve is a graph that plots the yields of bonds with the same credit quality but different maturities to measure and anticipate market conditions.