Accretion – Definition

Cite this article as:"Accretion – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated February 25, 2019, last accessed October 29, 2020,


Accretion (Investing) Definition

Accretion is slow growth through gradual accumulation. In business, accretion occurs when profits are a direct result of a gain in assets or business growth. In investing, investors expect to see capital gains accumulate on investment. This is also referred to as accretion.

Accretion also arises in Bond Accounting when an investor purchases a bond at a discount and later sells it for a gain (capital gain).

(Finance) Certified Bond Example of Accretion

For instance, a $1,000 bond obtained by an investor at $860 with a rate of maturity of 10 years. Between the time the bond is purchased and the maturity date, the capital gain should be $140. That $140 would be the payment amount owed on the purchased bond at maturity.

Accretion References Used

Academic Research on Accretion

  •    Financial intermediaries and the logical structure of monetary theory: a review, Patinkin, D. (1961).. To purchase the primary debt of others, financial intermediaries issue indirect debt. Funds are attracted from alternative expenditures such as tangible investments, primary debts, and non-financial spending units on consumption. This type of lending directs the flow of funds to the borrower’s expenditure. They are an in-between of the sources of the funds and the end user.
  • •    Zero coupon bond arbitrage: An illustration of the regulatory dialectic at work, Finnerty, J. D. (1985). Financial Management, 13-17.In world capital markets, structural frictions allow profitable arbitrage opportunities to rise. Market imperfections created an opportunity for a company that purchased zero Eurobonds and stripped U.S. Treasury bonds simultaneously resulting in an arbitrage profit.
  •    Taxing new financial products: a conceptual framework, Strnad, J. (1993). Stan. L. Rev., 46, 569.The tax policy has been up for debate in the United States for many decades. A comprehensive income tax base was adopted in fundamental tax reform proposals. In the last ten years it has been argued that a consumption tax should replace income tax. Under public political debate, this shift is the forefront of political debate. The new consensus in many academic circles is that a consumption tax is equally as progressive and much more efficient than the current income tax.
  • •    An analysis of original issue discount bonds, Kalotay, A. J. (1984). Financial Management, 29-38. Corporate income taxes and interest rates interactions are reflected in the cost of discount bonds of original issue. OIDs prior to 1980 were vitually non-existant, however between 1981 and 1982 they were tremendously popular.  Call protection and sinking fund provisions create two distinct issues related to the OIDS early retirement. The bond’s duration can surpass the bond’s maturity due to the uncustomary pattern of after-tax cash flow of the OID.
  • •    An Accretion Corporate Income Tax, Knoll, M. S. (1996). Stanford Law Review, 1-43. If a corporation’s current income tax was changed to a accretion corporate tax, the change in the overall market value of the outstanding securities would be taxed according to Professor Michael Knoll. The income ideal would be better approximated and it implementation would be easier. The current system relies on accrual accounting conventions that are unsatisfactory. An accretion corporate tax would drastically reduce tax administration costs, tax compliance burdens, and tax planning incentives.  According to Professor Knoll, various questions are addressed such as necessary preservation to special tax rules, nontraded securities valuations, and the appropriate tax bases.
  •    The Value of the Tax Treatment of Original‐Issue Deep‐Discount Bonds: A Note, Arak, M., & Silver, A. (1984). The Journal of Finance, 39(1), 253-259. Livingston examines the tax treatment of OIDs in a 1979 article revealing their unfavourability for firms and potential bond holders. Although 14% of the funds raised within the domestic bond market between March of 1981 and April of 1982 were raised with deeply discounted bonds at par values. After an OID has been properly seasoned, it can produce capital gain income, thus becoming more attractive to taxable investors.
  •    Embedded financing: The unsung virtue of derivatives, Tuckman, B. (2013). Journal of Derivatives, 21(1), 73.With no default risk, the interest rate is a fixed constant in the pricing models of theoretical derivatives. The financing rate receives little recognition here, rates are treated as time variances for the interest rate derivative. According to Tuckman, this measure is an oversimplification of real-world application. One of  the most overlooked and essential derivatives is embedded financing.
  • •    Capital budgeting for a state, Thomassen, H. (1990). Public Budgeting & Finance, 10(4), 72-86.Capital budgeting has been proposed by straightforward state governors. Their proposals are reviewed in this article. Capital listings are used by states today. There are no bona fide capital budgets, which leaves costs and revenues unable to be evaluated. This does not aide decision making.  In a program budget or net investment borrowed in a debt budget, capital consumption isn’t charged against taxes. There are those who view capital budgeting in a favorable light, but there are also some practical and conceptual issues that are quite discouraging. This includes the measurement of depreciation. According to the author, moving vrom capital listing to capital budgeting is hard to justify in today’s budgetary system.
  •    Inflation-Indexed Bonds: A Primer for Finance Officers, Stumpp, M., & Tipp, R. (2003). Government Finance Review, 19(1), 10-10.Despite being dormant in recent years, inflation is one of the greatest obstacles to reaching investment goals. This paper reveals that inflation protected bonds give investors a prime tool that acts a shield against inflation. These type of bonds are not without certain risks. As interest rates rise, prices of these bonds are known to drop. Series I Savings bonds are offered by the U.S. Treasury for individuals who want to make investments that are protected from inflation.
  • •    Defaults and returns on high yield bonds: Analysis through 1994, Altman, E. I., & Kishore, V. (1994).The high yield market had a lifeless run in 1994 that included total returns that were a bit negative and defaults that were relatively low. In comparison to other fixed income security markets, high yield debt executed nicely. In comparison to U.S. Government securities that are long term, plummeted to the lowest annual level (3.44%) all the way back to 1984. Over the relevant periods of this markets evolution in 1994, the return performance and high yield debt’s risk are documented in this report. It is presented in the mortality and default statistics and it offers a matrix of returns that are average. This analysis overviews the defaults from 1971 to 1994 and the returns from 1978 to 1994. Compared to long term U.S. Government securities, the average yield spread on high yield debt dropped to the lowest year-end level (3.44%) since 1984. This report documents the high yield debt market s risk and return performance in 1994 by presenting default and mortality statistics and provides a matrix of average returns and other performance statistics over the relevant periods of the market s evolution. Our analysis covers the period 1971-1994 for defaults and 1978-1994 for returns.
  •    Accounting policy choice: the case of financial instruments—creative accounting by UK companies, Shah, A. K. (1995). European Accounting Review, 4(2), 397-399. In recent years, creative accounting has attracted criticism in the United Kingdom.  The availability of information on the subject has increased steadily, however there is still little known about the devised schemes and how they are not revealed over periods of time. This thesis contains seven chapters, four of which are focused on empirical work.  A large range of data sources are compiled into a case study approach.

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