When bonds are originally issued to the public, this is known as the primary bond market. When a company decides that it needs to raise money for a large project, it will potentially decide to issue bonds. The companies that issue the bonds will typically work through an investment bank to help them. The investment bank will be in charge of finding buyers for the bonds and actually issuing them. In return for their services, the investment bank will receive a specific commission for each bond that is sold.
The other way that bonds are sold is in the secondary market. The majority of transactions in the bond market take place in the secondary market. The secondary market represents when an individual that owns a bond sells it to another investor. Many times, institutional investors will purchase bonds through the primary market and then turn around and sell them to investors in the secondary market. In order to purchase bonds in the secondary market, an individual will need to open an account with a bond broker. A bond broker will facilitate the process of purchasing the bonds that are needed. They will help the investor research the different bonds that are available in the market and then make the purchase.