Gilts, or gilt-edged securities, are loans to the government, which are traded on the stock market like stocks and shares.
The government borrows the money at an agreed rate of interest, known as the coupon (although some gilts are inflation-based) until a specified redemption date. Gilts are more like government investment bonds than stocks and shares.
Redemption dates can be set at:
- Short term (within 7 years)
- Medium term (7-15 years)
- Long term (over 15 years)
The investment will then be repaid at the agreed date. Undated gilts are also available – they pay interest but have no fixed redemption date. Gilts are typically compared looking at the gross redemption yield, which shows the total income and capital growth until redemption.
Unlike shares, gilts carry a low level of risk, provided the investment is held until redemption, when the government will repay the loan, together with the agreed interest. As they are traded on the stock market, the value of these investments rise and fall, making it possible to make a profit by selling in a rising market, rather than waiting for the redemption date.
To find out more about gilts and bonds, please contact a qualified Holborn Assets adviser.