Promissory Notes: The Drawback of Illiquidity

The advantages and trade-off between yield and liquidity

This text will discover the advantages and detriments associated to investing in publicly traded and non-publicly monetary belongings. Shares and bonds are examples of publicly commerce belongings; promissory notes and actual property aren’t publicly traded. Each classes will be employed efficiently, and each will be misused and misunderstood. The analogy of a device field applies: the investor should be nicely acquainted with, and perceive, the out there instruments in his investing device field, and methods to use every device correctly.

Marketability, Liquidity and Illiquidity (Non-liquidity) Outlined


Marketability is a measure of the power of an asset to be purchased and offered. The flexibility to transform an asset to money rapidly is also referred to as “marketability.” Poor marketability reduces the worth of an asset. Marketability is much like liquidity, besides that liquidity implies the worth of the asset is preserved, whereas marketability signifies that the safety will be purchased and offered simply.


Liquidity is the diploma to which an asset or safety will be purchased or offered available in the market with out affecting the asset’s value. Liquidity is characterised by a excessive degree of buying and selling exercise. Belongings that may be simply purchased or offered are liquid belongings.

Illiquidity (Non-liquid)

An illiquid asset can’t be rapidly transformed into money. Such investments embody restricted partnerships, actual property, and promissory notes that don’t commerce on exchanges.

The Problem of Illiquid Belongings

The mixture of credit score troubles, lack of credit score info, poor buying and selling circumstances, and lack of transparency create main valuation challenges for non-traded belongings. The shortcoming to collect info has change into a major handicap. The absence of liquidity lowers the worth of the asset by the illiquidity low cost. All different issues being equal, the extra illiquid the asset is, the much less worth it has. Measuring this low cost and making use of it in valuations of illiquid belongings has all the time been a problem.

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The Advantages of Illiquid Belongings

Now now we have discovered of the detriments and challenges of investing in illiquid belongings, let’s discover the positives, the advantages. The advantages are vital, and sometimes, off-set the challenges.

• Belongings missing liquidity and marketability provide increased yields

• Belongings missing liquidity and marketability provide much less volatility and extra stability

• Belongings missing liquidity and marketability are a greater emotional match for some buyers

• Belongings missing liquidity and marketability match some investor’s areas of private experience and knowledge-promissory be aware consultants and actual property consultants are examples

Valuing Illiquid Investments

The skilled judgment of the valuation knowledgeable is the important thing issue. Each valuation methodology has its shortcomings. Estimating an applicable low cost for illiquid asset requires judgment. Over time, court docket circumstances have acknowledged the worth of an appraiser’s judgment over mechanical functions of guidelines of thumb.

A number of the elements thought-about are: monetary statements and credit score scores of the borrower, fee historical past, quantity and nature of collateral safety, reimbursement phrases and circumstances contained within the paperwork, time period of the loan, financial outlook, quantity of management of the asset, restrictions on transferability, and prices related to gathering if default happens.

You will need to contemplate all of those elements when deciding on the suitable low cost for lack of marketability. Whereas utilizing these elements as a information, the judgment of the appraiser stays the important thing.

Valuing illiquid and personal investments is a “Judgment course of”. It requires a sound methodology that:

• established and defensible theoretical framework

• makes use of strategies accepted by buyers buying and selling related belongings

• makes use of market info that’s each dependable and applicable

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Illiquid belongings will be glorious investments for the fitting investor, who has purchased on the proper value and understands himself and the asset purchased.