SEC Yield: Everything You Got To Know!


What is the SEC yield? If you’re looking for a way to compare different bond funds, you might want to check out the SEC yield. This is a measure of how much income a bond fund generates in a given month, after accounting for its expenses. This was created by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to help investors make more informed decisions. It is based on the latest 30-day period that the fund reports to the SEC. This yield shows you how much you would earn from a bond fund in a year if you invested at the current net asset value. It is also known as the “standardized yield”.

The SEC yield is not the same as the distribution yield, which is based on the actual amount of dividends and interest paid by the fund over a certain period. The distribution yield can vary depending on the fund’s payout policy and the market conditions. The SEC yield, on the other hand, is more consistent and reliable, as it reflects the current level of income generated by the fund’s portfolio.

The SEC yield can help you compare bond funds with different maturities, credit qualities, and interest rate sensitivities. It can also help you assess how much income you can expect from a bond fund in relation to its risk and return profile. However, the SEC yield is not a guarantee of future performance, and it may change over time as the fund’s holdings and expenses change.

Capital Gains?

One thing to keep in mind is that the SEC yield does not include any capital gains or losses that the fund may realize from selling its bonds. Therefore, it does not capture the total return of the fund, which includes both income and price changes. If you want to know how much your bond fund has grown or shrunk in value over time, you need to look at its net asset value (NAV) or its share price.

The SEC yield is a useful tool for bond fund investors, but it is not the only one. You should also consider other factors, such as the fund’s investment objective, strategy, fees, risks, and performance history. By doing your homework, you can find the best bond fund for your needs and goals.

Here Are Some Fun Facts About The SEC Yield And Bond Funds:

  • Was introduced in 1988 as a way to standardize the calculation of bond fund yields across the industry.
  • Is calculated by dividing the net investment income per share earned by the fund during the 30-day period by the maximum offering price per share on the last day of the period.
  • Assumes that all dividends and interest payments are reinvested at the same rate as the current NAV.
  • The SEC yield may be higher or lower than the distribution yield, depending on whether the fund pays out more or less than it earns in a given month.
  • May also differ from the effective yield, which takes into account the effect of compounding interest over time.
  • Does not reflect any sales charges or redemption fees that you may pay when you buy or sell shares of a bond fund.
  • May be negative if the fund’s expenses exceed its income during the 30-day period.
  • The SEC requires bond funds to disclose their SEC yields in their prospectuses and shareholder reports.

Book Passage That Drive The Point Home For SEC Yield And Bond Funds:

“Bond funds are mutual funds that invest primarily in bonds and other debt securities. They provide investors with a convenient way to diversify their portfolios and generate regular income. Bond funds vary widely in their risk and return characteristics, depending on the types and quality of bonds they hold. Some bond funds focus on low-risk government or corporate bonds, while others seek higher returns from junk bonds or emerging market debt. Some bond funds have short-term maturities, while others have long-term or intermediate-term maturities. Some bond funds are actively managed by professional portfolio managers who try to beat a benchmark index, while others are passively managed by tracking an index.

One of the key measures of a bond fund’s performance is its yield, which represents how much income it pays out relative to its price. However, not all bond fund yields are calculated in the same way. Different methods may produce different results, making it hard to compare bond funds across different categories or providers. That’s why the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) developed a standardized method for calculating bond fund yields, known as the SEC yield. The SEC yield is designed to provide investors with a consistent and reliable way to evaluate bond funds based on their current income potential.”

From Bond Funds for Dummies by Russell Wild

Understanding the SEC Yield

If you want to compare different bond funds, you need to know the SEC yield. This is the magic number that tells you how much interest you can expect to get in the future from a fund. Unlike the Distribution Yield, which can change a lot from month to month, this yield is pretty stable and reliable. It’s also required by law for funds to calculate it, so you can trust it. The SEC yield shows you what your annual income would be from a fund if it kept earning the same rate for the rest of the year. Sounds awesome, right? That’s why it’s one of the best ways to compare mutual funds or ETFs that invest in bonds.


Here’s what you need to know about the SEC yield in a nutshell. It’s a way of measuring the yield of bonds that makes it easy to compare them. The yield shows you how much money you would make in a year if the bond kept paying the same interest rate. It’s like a crystal ball that tells you the future income of a bond. Well, not exactly, but close enough. The SEC yield is a handy tool for bond investors who want to find the best deals in the market.

Calculation of the SEC Yield

You might be wondering how the SEC yield is calculated. Well, it’s not rocket science, but it does involve some math. Don’t worry, I’ll break it down for you. Most funds use a 30-day SEC yield, which they calculate at the end of each month. (Money market funds use a seven-day SEC yield, but that’s another story.) To calculate the 30-day, you need four things:

a = the total amount of interest and dividends that the fund received in the last 30 days

b = the total amount of expenses that the fund paid in the last 30 days, excluding any reimbursements

c = the average number of shares that were eligible to receive distributions in the last 30 days

d = the highest price per share on the last day of the month

Once you have these four numbers, you plug them into this formula:

2 x (((a – b) / (c x d) + 1) ^ 6 – 1)

And voila! You get the annualized 30-day SEC yield. Pretty simple, right? Well, maybe not. But trust me, it’s worth it. The SEC yield tells you how much income you can expect from a fund in a year. And who doesn’t love income?

Before You Go

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What is the SEC yield?

The SEC yield is a measure of the annualized yield of a bond fund, based on the interest and dividends earned and the expenses paid by the fund in the last 30 days. It is calculated using a standardized formula developed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to allow for fair comparison of bond funds.

Why Is The SEC Yield Important?

This yield is important because it shows investors what they would earn in income from a bond fund in a year, assuming the fund continues to earn the same rate for the rest of the year. It is widely considered a good way to compare mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that invest in bonds because it is consistent and reliable.

How Often Does The SEC Yield Change?

Most funds calculate a 30-day SEC yield on the last day of each month, though U.S. money market funds calculate and report a seven-day SEC yield. This yield can change from month to month depending on the interest and dividends earned, the expenses paid, and the price of the shares of the fund.

What Is The Difference Between The SEC Yield And The Distribution Yield?

The distribution yield is another measure of the income generated by a bond fund, but it is based on the actual distributions paid by the fund over a certain period, usually a month or a year. The distribution yield can vary significantly from month to month depending on how often and how much the fund pays out distributions. The SEC yield is more stable and reflects the effective rate of interest earned by the fund in the last 30 days.

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