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What Is a Fixed Interest Investment?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A fixed interest investment offers a steady interest return rather than one that fluctuates with the market. Bonds are a common example. This can offer some benefits to investors, including a stable income and reliability. There are also some drawbacks, particularly when inflation starts to rise. Maintaining a mixture of assets in a diversified portfolio can insulate people from some of the risks.

Also called a fixed income investment in reference to the regular payout it provides, this product allows people to receive a steady income for a set period of time. They receive information up front about the interest rate and how much they can expect from each payment. Loans like bonds are a common vehicle for fixed interest investment, and may be offered through the government in some cases, which adds security to the purchase. With a tool like a bond, after all the interest is paid and the loan matures, the investor also receives the principal and can choose to reinvest or use it.

Man climbing a rope
Man climbing a rope

The obvious advantage to this approach is reliability and predictability. People relying on investments for income may prefer a fixed interest investment because they know what they will get and when they will get it. Low risk can be particularly important for older adults who may be concerned about not having time to recoup losses if their investments go bad. When inflation is low, the income should provide enough to meet the investor’s needs.

Lower risks also come with lower returns, however. People using fixed interest investment will not generate as much income as those who choose riskier investment vehicles with higher interest rates. In addition, if the inflation rate starts to climb, the earnings are correspondingly worth less. This can be a big concern for investors who need to cover the costs of living, as they may not be able to keep pace with rising expenses for utilities, groceries, and other basic needs.

Investors considering this approach may think about a mixture of investments to achieve some balance in their portfolios. It’s possible to sell a fixed interest investment, but since this is often triggered by poor market conditions, it may be difficult to get a good price. Financial advisers and accountants can offer specific advice for particular cases where some types of investment may be more suitable than others. Tax liabilities are another concern that should be considered, as the income may be taxable and it is important to set aside funds to cover this.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Learn more...
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Learn more...

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