The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association announced that it now carries price data for approximately 25,000 federal agency bonds on its investinginbonds.com website.
The new data is available via a feed from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) following an expansion of its Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (TRACE) to include debt issued by federal government agencies, government corporations and government sponsored enterprises (GSEs).
Investing in Bonds is a unique partnership between SIFMA members, SIFMA and the SIFMA Foundation for Investor Education. Named one of two Kiplinger's 2009 Best Investing Websites and managed by the SIFMA Foundation, Investing in Bonds provides real-time bond price information and a wide variety of market data, news, commentary and educational content on how the US bond markets work.
"We are pleased to add even more information to our investinginbonds.com website, which was created as a free, non-commercial site solely designed to help educate investors," said Rob Toomey, managing director and associate general counsel at SIFMA. "The addition of government agency prices enriches the content already available on the site, making it an even better resource and a more effective way to promote transparency in the bond markets."
Agency bonds are issued by two types of entities: 1) Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), usually federally-chartered but privately-owned corporations; and 2) Federal Government agencies which may issue or guarantee these bonds. The proceeds are used to finance activities related to public purposes, such as increasing home ownership or providing agricultural assistance. Agency bonds are issued in a variety of structures, coupon rates and maturities. Each GSE and Federal agency issues its own bonds, with sizes and terms appropriate to the needs and purposes of the financing.
The new price information is available on the Government/Federal Agency Market at a Glance page of the website. Via an agency bond trade ticker, users can view trade time, abbreviated issuer name, CUSIP number (the unique identifier for the security), coupon and maturity date, price, yield, and number of bonds traded, along with any notes. The site also offers a list of the most heavily traded bonds over the last five trading days, or on the current trading day. Clicking on the number of trades will show a trade-by-trade history for the security, including trade date, price (per $1,000 of par value), yield, size (dollar amount of par value traded) and any related notes.
A screen of the day's most recent trades offers a table showing the trade date, issuer and CUSIP number, coupon rate, maturity date, price, yield, size and notes. The same screen also has a "run calculations" function which demonstrates how different prices would result in different yields. The agency bond feed is searchable by CUSIP number, and can graph trade data.
Since 2005, the investinginbonds.com website has carried free, real time trading information for municipal and corporate securities, as well as information on the government bond market. The site was designed to address the needs of many different kinds of investors. A "Learn More" section offers novice investors, as well as others, information and articles such as the effect of changes in interest rates on an individual's investments. A "Markets-at-a-Glance" section offers even the most sophisticated investor an array of information, including economic indicators and bond indices, ranging from general market barometers to very specific ones narrowly focused on markets such as corporate or sovereign debt. Additionally, the site features a "News & Commentary" section which features continuous news updates and regularly updated commentary on specific markets, such as mortgage-backed securities. Investors can access European bond data from the link to investinginbonds.com sister site investinginbondseurope.org.