Regular or simple bonds are one of the original types of bonds issued by governments and corporations. They typically contain similar basic characteristics for issuers and investors including the following:
- The issuer guarantees the return of the investor's capital
- The bond has a set, single maturity date
- The issuer guarantees to pay the investor a set rate of interest income each year
- The bond's interest payment is regular upon set dates each year (such as annual, semi-annual, etc.)
- The bond may or may not contain additional features, as discussed in our Bond Terms & Features section.
In many ways bond features are similar to those of Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) issued by financial institutions with one exception: bonds, after they have been sold to investors, can be bought and sold, prior to their maturity dates, in a secondary bond market. Therefore, unlike GICs, an investor can receive all or a portion of the money they have invested in a bond by selling the bond in the secondary bond market. In addition, an investor can buy bonds in the secondary market without having to wait for an issuer's next bond issue to come along.