## The Yield Curve

April 6, 2011 5 Comments

The yield curve is a graph that plots the yields of similar-quality debt instruments against their maturities, ranging from shortest to longest. The yield curve is is also known as the term structure of interest rates. As yield curve shows the various yields that are currently being offered on debt instruments of different maturities it helps investors quickly compare the yields offered by short-term, medium-term and long-term debt instruments.

The yield curve can take three primary shapes. If short-term yields are lower than long-term yields i.e.the line is sloping upwards, then the curve is referred to a positive (or “normal”) yield curve. Below you’ll find an example of a normal yield curve.