I understand the bits and pieces but I’m having a difficult time getting a solid conceptual idea of the bootstrapping process. I understand that bootstrapping is necessary in the valuation of fixed income securities because we have to utilize a discount rate in the same time dimension as the cash flow. I did quantitative examples to compute theoretical spot rates and I’ve had no problem there. But that’s only b/c I’m following a process, I’m missing the logic. Separately, I get what the Par Yield Curve and the process of interpolation. But how exactly does the Par Yield Curve and interpolation come into play in the bootstrapping process? Do they even? I’ve been doing all the internet search I can and my mind just keeps going in circles. If anyone can just set everything into place Id really appreciate it!

Bootstrapping, par yield curve and interpolation are all related concepts. The market does not provide yields for all maturities. The only ones you have are T-Bills, T-notes, and T-bonds which only state yields for certain maturities. If you graph these points, they do not represent a continuous yield curve. So, you must interpolate these points, meaning you stretch out the points into a theoretical yield curve based on the “trend” of the given points. In order to interpolate these points, you calculate via the bootstrapping method. When you do this, you will achieve a continuous yield curve, which is the par yield curve.