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Interest Rate Risk – Meaning, Examples, Types and How to Manage

Interest rate risk refers to the possibility that the value of bonds and other fixed-income investments will decline. This is precisely what we mean. This is partly because market interest rates have altered. It is possible to invest in a variety of various types of risky assets, such as bonds and certificates of deposit.

Bonds and certificates of deposit lose value when the interest rate on them increases, and so their prices decrease as well. When interest rates rise, it costs more to do something, and hence there are additional costs. Individuals who do not take advantage of investment opportunities pay a high price. Risk associated with interest rates has a direct effect on this price.

When interest rates rise, the value of shorter-maturity bonds and certificates is less likely to fall. When a new investment offers a higher rate of return than an investor’s present investment, it is usual for investors to switch from older to newer assets. On the other side, existing securities can only compete by lowering their prices, effectively devaluing them.

What is Interest Rate Risk?

Interest rate risk refers to the possibility of losing money as a result of interest rate changes when investing. When interest rates rise, bonds and other fixed-income instruments, for example, lose value. When interest rates fluctuate, the price of a bond fluctuates as well. This is referred to as the organization’s lifespan.

By holding bonds with varying maturities, investors can mitigate their exposure to interest rate movements. Additionally, they might employ interest rate swaps and options to hedge their fixed-income investments against market fluctuations.

Overview – Interest Rate Risk

Interest rate changes can affect a wide variety of investments, although bonds and other fixed-income assets are the most sensitive. Bondholders, on the other hand, monitor interest rates closely and make investment decisions based on how they vary over the course of a bond’s existence.

When interest rates rise, the value of fixed-income instruments decreases as well, reducing their value (and vice versa). When interest rates rise, investing in bonds becomes more riskier, as the cost of not making a better investment increases proportionately. It’s less enticing to purchase a bond with a fixed rate of 7% when the rate is 7%. In this example, a bond yielding 7% that trades at $1,000 when interest rates at 7% is not particularly tempting when rates begin to rise to 8% or 9%. To compensate for this economic disadvantage, the market value of these bonds must fall. Individuals do not wish to possess a bond bearing a 7% interest rate when they may obtain a bond bearing a 9% interest rate from another bond.

As a result, when interest rates on fixed-rate bonds exceed a particular level, investors liquidate their existing positions and replace them with new ones that reflect the increased rate. Prior to the interest rate adjustment, existing securities will be able to compete with new ones only if their prices are reduced.

Individuals can mitigate or eliminate interest rate risk by utilising hedging and diversification techniques. These measures can help to mitigate or eliminate the effect of rate changes on the effective duration of a portfolio. Managing interest rate risk contains additional information on how to manage interest rate risk.

Example of Interest Rate Risk

Take the following into consideration: An investor purchases a $500 bond with a 3% coupon for five years. After that, it increases to 4% per year. When competing bond offerings with higher returns become available, the investor may have difficulty selling the bond he or she purchased. Prices on the secondary market decline as demand for them decreases. It is possible that the bond’s value will decrease below the price paid when it was initially purchased. However, the converse is true in this instance. Bonds yielding 5% become more desirable as long as interest rates remain below 5%. The bondholder receives a set rate of return that is higher than the market rate.

Consider another illustration of how high interest rates can be detrimental to people. Consider a $10,000 investment in bonds with a face value of Rs. 100 and consider how that money could increase or decrease in value over time. Each year, these investments pay a 5% dividend on the value of their money. Today, a one-year investment would be worth $10,500. It would earn $10,600 next year if the interest rate on freshly issued securities was 6%, for a total income of $10,600.

How to Manage Interest Rate Risks?

Interest rate risk management is critical since it can result in an institution’s inability to function and, finally, its collapse if not managed appropriately. You can also make use of interest rate calculator to manage interest rate risks for companies and individuals. This section will discuss some of the measures we can take to check interest rates risk as well as the hazards they pose.


Interest rate risk can be mitigated through the use of various hedging strategies. These tactics frequently necessitate the acquisition of a diverse array of derivatives. Interest rate swaps and options are two frequently utilized financial tools. A put option is a form of option in which you can choose to make. When you have the option to buy or sell an item at a predetermined price and date, this is refer to as an option contract. Significant transactions, early rate agreements, and futures (FRAs).

Investing in a Safer Manner

It is the safest course of action for investors seeking to mitigate the risk of interest rate changes by investing in short-term bonds and certificates. Short-term investments are less likely to change in response to changes in interest rates. Due to their short maturity dates, these individuals are less likely to be impact by interest rate increases.


Purchasing assets that are less susceptible to interest rate changes can help a bondholder mitigate the risk of interest rate changes (e.g., equity). Diversify your bond portfolio by including both short- and long-term bonds.

Investing Money in Short-Term Debt

Selling long-term bonds to raise capital is a frequent method of raising funds. Investors can better control interest rate risk by reinvesting funds in higher-yielding bonds. By investing in shorter-term assets, you can mitigate the risk of interest rate increases, which is possible.

Invest in Floating Rate Securities

They have variable interest rates that fluctuate in response to market conditions. This is the reason they are referred to as “floating rate bonds.” If you want to earn money, you should invest in these assets, as their value fluctuates in response to market fluctuations. When purchasing these items, it’s also prudent to maintain a healthy balance of long- and short-term investing selections. While this cannot always be used to predict how much money you will earn, it is beneficial because it reduces the risk of interest rate changes.

It is critical for investors to understand the risk management methods outlined above in order to safeguard themselves against interest rate risk. It can have a significant impact on a business or investment if interest rates are unstable. The interest rate risk scenario provided in this article demonstrates the critical importance of risk management when it comes to preventing an investment from losing value.

Types of Interest Rate Risks to Individuals

Individual and institutional investors should consider the dangers associated with high interest rates. The remainder of this page discusses each of them in detail, and you can read about them there.

Price Depreciation is Dangerous

Investing in an investment bond or certificate of deposit might cause the price to fluctuate. This is refer to as price risk. When you sell assets in the future, you may incur a loss or earn an unexpected profit.

The Risk of Reinvesting Capital

Investors may choose to liquidate their holdings due to the risk of interest rate changes. As a result, you may be unable to reinvest at the current rate of return. Interest rate risk, also known as reinvestment risk, is classified into two broad categories.

Types of Interest Rate Risks to Company

The risk that a business bears when it comes to interest rates is determine by a variety of factors. This section will delve deeper into each of these characteristics.

Market Fluctuation

When the market is unpredictable or inflation is strong, refinancing and meeting other criteria can be extremely challenging, making it even more difficult to manage interest rate risks. Oftentimes, when this occurs, an organization’s outgoing financial flow exceeds its receiving cash flow, making it more difficult for the institution to continue operations.

The Term of the Loan Agreement

When a lender takes out a long-term loan, they have a lot to worry about, and this is true for both borrowers and lenders. If businesses and corporations with fixed interest rates are forced to restructure their obligations, their baselines may be lower than they would be otherwise. A rise in interest rates increases the likelihood of this occurring, which indicates that the likelihood of this occurring increases.

Foreign Exchange Rates

When the dollar’s value fluctuates, it has an effect on any corporation with loans in another country. This is true regardless of the type of debt. When the price of the dominant currency falls, the related interest rate risks increase. When the currency’s value increases, the interest rate risks linked with it decrease. This is also one of the best small trading business ideas you can think of it.

The Credit Risk of a Business

The debt-to-equity ratio of a business is a useful indicator of how hazardous it is to borrow money from. Companies are being force to pay higher interest to their shareholders as interest rates climb. As a result, credit carries a significantly higher risk.

FAQs on Interest Rate Risk

Let us take some of the FAQ questions so that we can clarify and answer them.

Which Types of Investors are most Affected by Interest Rate Risks?

Bond and certificate investors are particularly concerned about interest rate risk, as the rate of interest is inversely proportionate to the amount of money invested in the bond or certificate.

Are Equity Investors Affected by Interest Rate Risks?

Investing in the stock market may increase the likelihood of interest rates rising. In general, the value of a company’s shares is influenced by the success of its business. However, this has no effect on the value of interest rate securities.

Does Interest Rate Risk Impact the Non-financial Assets of a Financial Institution?

Individuals who work for a financial institution must manage interest rate risk, as the value of present securities and the predicted cash flows from those securities are subject to fluctuate. This has an effect on a company’s entire asset base.