The Excel DURATION Function

Related Function:

Function Description

The Excel Duration function calculates the Duration (specifically, the Macaulay Duration) of a security that pays periodic interest, assuming a par value of $100.

The syntax of the function is:

DURATION( settlement, maturity, coupon, yld, frequency, [basis] )

Where the arguments are as follows:

settlement - The settlement date of the security (i.e. the date that the coupon is purchased).
maturity - The maturity date of the security (i.e. the date that the coupon expires).
coupon - The security's annual coupon rate.
yld - The security's annual yield.
frequency -

The number of coupon payments per year. This must be one of the following:

1 - Annually
2 - Semi-Annually
4 - Quarterly
[basis] -

An optional integer argument which specifies the financial day count basis that is used by the security. Possible values are:

Basis Day Count Basis
0 (or omitted) US (NASD) 30/360
1 actual/actual
2 actual/360
3 actual/365
4 European 30/360
For a detailed explanation of the financial day count basis rules, see the Wikipedia Day Count Convention page.

Note that the date arguments should be input to the Duration function as either:


Warning: If you attempt to input text representations of dates into Excel functions, they may be interpreted differently, depending on the date system and date interpretation settings on your computer.

Excel Duration Function Example

In the following example, the Excel Duration function is used to calculate the annual duration of a coupon purchased on 01-Apr-2015, with Maturity date 31-Mar-2025 and a coupon rate of 10%. The yield is 8% and payments are made quarterly.

  A B
1 Settlement Date: 01-Apr-2015
2 Maturity Date: 31-Mar-2025
3 =DURATION( B1, B2, 10%, 8%, 4 )

The function returns the Duration 6.671645021 years.

Note that, in the above example:

Further examples of the Excel Duration function are provided on the Microsoft Office website.

Duration Function Errors

If you get an error from the Duration function, this is likely to be one of the following:

Common Errors
#NUM! -

Occurs if either:

  • The supplied settlement date is ≥ maturity date
  • Invalid numbers are supplied for the coupon, yld, frequency or [basis] arguments.
    (I.e. if either: coupon < 0; yld < 0; frequency is not equal to 1, 2 or 4; or [basis] is supplied and is not equal to 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4).

Occurs if either:

  • Any of the supplied arguments are non-numeric
  • One or both of the supplied settlement or maturity dates are not a valid Excel dates.