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Bond fund basics: Maturity and stability

Click or tap on a number in the gray bar at the bottom of the illustration to see the typical relationship between the average maturity of a bond fund's holdings and its income and share-price variability in a period of changing interest rates.

For a more stable share price, look at a fund with a shorter average maturity.
But be prepared for income distributions to vary a lot.

For a steadier income stream, consider a fund with a longer average maturity.
But be prepared for bigger price shifts.

Select an average maturity to see the tradeoff between share-price and income variability.

  • Short-Term
  • Intermediate-Term
  • Long-Term
 1 3
 5 7 9
 11 13

Of course, many other factors can affect a fund's share price and income. That's why this illustration is only hypothetical.


  • All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of principal.
  • Investments in bonds and bond funds are subject to interest rate, credit, and inflation risk.
  • Bond funds are subject to the risk that an issuer will fail to make payments on time, and that bond prices will decline because of rising interest rates or negative perceptions of an issuer's ability to make payments.
  • Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

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