Private Trading of Medium Term Notes, also known as Mid-Term Notes and MTNs, is essentially capital raised for the purposes of the development of working capital and the upward trend towards strengthening a company’s balance sheet. More times than naught, private trade programs encompass the development of new products, technologies and overall expansion. Whereas in this article, In the broad sense and in the most known categorization, we will be discussing Medium Term Note Private Trading which is a completely different investment channel generating tremendous returns for small and large, individual and corporate investors alike.
Investors have limited access when it comes to educating themselves and investing in the high-yield arena of MTN Trading. Unless they have liquidity in the hundreds of millions, most others who have less liquidity for investment find themselves on the outside trying to get a peek in. In this article, the general development of knowledge with regard to private trading, MTNs, BGs and other instrument facets, will explain why and where individuals willing to invest from $10M on up can participate in the world of Medium Term Note Trading.
Why is there such a demand for investing in Private Programs that utilize MTNs and on occasion Treasury Bills?
Since the mid-1990’s to the present day, Medium term Note originations total investment dollars have escalated from a estimated, yet traceable, phase of just over $10 billion dollars in mid-1990s to a current level of well over $75 billion dollars through the third quarter of 2008. There have been roughly 6,500 private trade programs done through the third quarter of 2008. Companies in the likes of Sony Capital, Harley Davidson, LG and other well recognized entities have all offered Mid-Term Notes collateralized by their assets for expansion and development. From a low of fewer than 2,500 in all of 1996, you can see that the interest towards Private Trading gains when markets and the economy as a whole degrades catapulting the need for short term, well secured notes backed by established corporations, banks, asset holders and countries.
Hedge Funds, Portfolio Managers and Private Investors are often attracted to these Private Programs and understand the rules and guidelines that follow. Less experienced, smaller investors tend to be dismissed due to the anxiety levels and continuous pestering of updates. High-net worth, seasoned investors have their blocked funds almost always are combined with other clients to build a larger trade bases, if individually large enough, say one billion and up, enter into a Private Trade Program by themselves; however they too may very well be bundled with other client assets to reduce the number of trades being managed. Their blocked funds represent these MTN Trade Programs and are a tremendous economic incentive in their own right by the generation of liquidity by the function of process.
The derived profits most often than not, as well as the leveraged amount of the blocked funds, will go into further capitalization of new companies believed to have significant growth possibilities in industries such as: healthcare, bio-technologies, software/hardware and telecommunications. These Private Trade Programs add value to these companies and further compel advancements in those particular sectors.
Without Medium Term Notes, the potential of utilizing them in Private Trading and the profits derived from such, many of the participants of these programs would never launch over the first tier with regards to the programs they are included in.
Typical Minimum Investment Requirement:
Mid-Term Note Trading and investing is not easily accessible to the typical high-net worth investor or well capitalized corporation unless they first know these types of programs exist and then are either introduced to the trading platform from a referring client or through a series of referral educational sites where the client can thereafter request admission. Most Trade Programs typically will accept investors who are willing to commit as little as $25 million to have blocked for the purposes of leverage. Although some Trade Managers have dropped their minimums to only $250K with coupled by a series of A,B,C programs to ramp up the clients capital to higher level trades.
Fund of Funds:
A fund of funds holds the leveraged funds of many private partnerships that invest in private trades. It provides a way for firms and individual participants to increase cost effectiveness and thereby reduce their minimum investment requirement. Since a fund of funds is leveraging against those original funds, sometimes up to 20 to 50 times, the accumulated return for that specific funds of funds becomes much more lucrative.
In addition, because of its size and diversification, a fund of funds has the potential to offer greater returns than you might experience with an individual MTN Trade Program. This only holds true to those Programs that are under the $100 million dollar level though since most times the lesser amounts are leveraged through funds of funds or equivalent means.
The main disadvantage, if it could be considered such, is that there is an additional layer of fees paid to the fund of funds manager. Though typically $100 million and up will roll out the welcome mat, investors can on occasion, participate with $250,000 – $10 million to the respective fund of funds manager. For those smaller amounts under $10 million, the platform manager may not let you participate unless you are an accredited investor with a net worth between $1.5 million to $5 million.
Is it worth the time and consideration?
There are several key risks in any type of investing since you essentially, with any investment, can guarantee a return (except for low yielding T-Bills, etc.) Private Trading is no exception. As mentioned earlier, the fees of Private Trade Programs that cater to smaller investors can be higher than you would normally expect with conventional investments, such as mutual funds. With a pre-established historical return rate on these smaller (less than $100M) funds may be in the double to triple digits as reflected in previous scenarios. The promulgation of these fees are irrespective and of little consequence to the investor although many investors feel that they deserve more, do essentially doing very little.
In a market as volatile as the one we currently face, it is much harder to find streamlined programs that offer little risk. Transferring of investors’ funds is not evidenced in these Private Trade Programs that are at or above $10 million dollars. A block is placed on the client’s funds within their account for the duration of the trading period. Hence, the safety the client experiences remains secure with the leveraged program they enter into.