The yield (on maturity) shows the annual income, expressed as a percentage, an investor achieves when buying a bond at the current market price and receiving all interest payments (reinvesting them immediately at the original rate of return), and redemption at maturity is 100%. This allows comparisons of bonds of a similar grade (credit quality) but with different features (term, coupon, price, etc.).

The average yield of the securities in a bond portfolio gives an indication of the possible return of the securities in the portfolio.