There are two major types of investments: stocks and bonds. Stocks represent an equity stake in a company, and bonds represent a debt and claim on the company's assets. The current market value of a bond is determined by the rate of interest it pays. If the bond is paying a higher rate of interest than the current market rate of interest, the bond will sell at a premium; that is, if a bond issued 3 years ago has a higher rate of interest than bonds issued today, the investor with the bond issued 3 years ago has the better deal, and therefore benefits from the higher price associated with the bond. Finding the value of premium bonds is as easy as finding the right price. The challenge is knowing what to look for.
Obtain the Wall Street Journal or Investor Business Daily (IBD) newspaper. You can purchase these at your local bookstore or check them out at your local library.
Turn to the bond tables. These tables will be in small print next to the stock tables. The title will read Bond Table. Look at the table of contents for the exact location for the day.
Look up your bond name (usually the name of the issuing company). Not all bonds are listed in the bond tables, so it will not be unusual if your bond is not listed; however, you can look for a similar bond. Specifically, you want a bond paying the same interest or coupon rate.
Note the price next to the bond. This is the current market value of the bond. Bonds trading over $1,000 are usually trading at a premium. If current market interest rates are lower than the rate your bond pays the bond is trading at a premium.