The past several years have seen a volatile bond market in which many investors have sustained unanticipated bond principal valuation losses. While a bond is typically designed to afford investors the full value of their original investment at the time of their maturity, volatility in the bond in the financial markets has seen many investors unable to liquidate their bonds prior to maturity without sustaining significant losses. Typically, when interest rates rise, bond prices fall. This is something that can cause a sellout in the bond market, which depresses bond prices and makes it more difficult to sell a bond - especially bonds with a longer maturity date. Other factors, such as credit scores, can cause the same problem.