Purdue Global University Junk Bonds Discussion

If you have poor credit due to being delinquent on credit card debt or other issues, chances are the bank is going to charge you a higher interest rate on a personal loan, or it might not give you a loan at all. Corporations face the same problems. If a company takes on too much debt or is otherwise considered to be a credit risk, then it also gets low credit ratings. In this case, if it wants to take on more debt it needs to issue what is known as “junk bonds,” or as corporations prefer to call them, “high-yield bonds.”

Whatever you call these types of bonds, their key feature is that they pay higher interest than bonds from a corporation that has a high credit rating. If you have a 401(k) or other retirement investment fund, chances are you have the option to make a portion of your investment in these higher risk/higher return bonds.

Do some research on junk bonds. What kind of controversies do you see with them? Do you think they are a solid investment for your retirement, perhaps no riskier than most investments? Or do they deserve the derogatory term “junk”? Share the links to the articles you find with your classmates, and discuss your opinions as to whether you think the higher interest rate justifies the increased risk.

Module 4 – Background

Leverage, Capital Structure, and Dividend Policy

Required Reading

Capital Structure

Start with this interactive tutorial from Pearson that will give you a short overview of the main topics from this module:

Obi, P. (2014). Capital structure and financial leverage. Purdue University. Retrieved from:

Now go through the following tutorials from Investopedia which include some videos. Start out with the tutorial on degree of operating leverage, then scroll down to the sections on earnings before interest and taxes and degree of financial leverage:


Degree of operating leverage. (n.d.). Investopedia. Retrieved from: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/degreeofoperat…

Now dive deeper into the concepts of capital structure with the following two book chapters. Pay special attention to the concepts of operating leverage, financial leverage, business vs. financial risks, and the major theories of capital structure choices. While the tutorials above will give you a broad overview of the main topics, the following readings have worked out problems and solutions that will be essential for completing the Case Assignment:

Vishwanath, S. (2007). Chapter 19: Optimal capital structure. Corporate finance: Theory and practice. SAGE Publications India. Available in the Trident Online Library.

Brigham, E. & Houston, J. (n.d.). Chapter 13: Capital structure and leverage. Fundamentals of Financial Management. Cengage Learning.

Finally, take a look at the following book chapter on dividend policy. Take a close look at the concepts of regular dividend policy and low-regular-and-extra dividend policy, as well as stock splits and stock repurchases:

Clive, M. (2012). Chapter 15: Dividend policy. Financial management for non-financial managers. Kogan Page. Available in the Trident Online Library.

Optional Reading

Ahmad, A. (n.d.) Firm debt part 1: Calculating how much to borrow. Coursera. Retrieved from: https://www.coursera.org/learn/finance-debt/lectur…

Sexton, N. (2010). Introduction to dividend policy. LSBF Global MBA. Retrieved from: