Investment grade bonds

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Investment grade bonds are bonds which are rated BBB- or higher by S&P and Fitch or Baa3 or higher by Moody's. These ratings are indicators of default risk on a particular bond issue -- with higher rating suggesting lower risk. Bonds which fall below the investment grade threshold are known as speculative bonds (also known as high yield bonds, non-investment grade bonds or junk bonds) The following table lists the ratings which would qualify an issue as investment grade.

Description Moody's S&P Fitch
Maximum SafetyAaaAAAAAA
High gradeAa1AA+AA+
High gradeAa2AAAA
High gradeAa3AA-AA-
Higher medium GradeA1A+A+
Higher medium GradeA2AA
Higher medium GradeA3A-A-
Lower medium GradeBaa1BBB+BBB+
Lower medium GradeBaa2BBBBBB
Lower medium GradeBaa3BBB-BBB-
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