Advertise | Bookmark | Contact Us | E-Mail List |  | Update Page | UraniumSeek.com 

Commentary : Gold Review : Markets : News Wire : Quotes : Silver : Stocks - Main Page 

 GoldSeek.com >> News >> Story  Disclaimer 
 
Latest Headlines

Gold Seeker Weekly Wrap-Up: Gold and Silver Close with Modest Losses but Miners Gain on the Week
By: Chris Mullen, Gold Seeker Report

Ira Epstein's Metals Video 11 24 2017
By: Ira Epstein

Life Under Manipulation
By: Theodore Butler

Legendary investor names his top junior resource stock picks right now
By: Peter Spina, President, CEO of GoldSeek.com & SilverSeek.com

Silver Miners’ Q3’17 Fundamentals
By: Adam Hamilton, CPA

Deflation must be embraced
By: Alasdair Macleod

Gold’s 47-Year Bull Market
By: Steven Saville

Taxes, Macro Signals, Seasonality, US Stocks and Gold Miners
By: Gary Tanashian

The Key to Profitably Ending Precious Metals Price Suppression And Other Markets Manipulation!
By: Deepcaster

The Precious Metals Bears' Fear of Fridays
By: Dimitri Speck

 
Search

GoldSeek Web

 
Business Development Companies


 -- Published: Thursday, 30 January 2014 | Print  | Disqus 

By Andrey Dashkov

Business Development Companies (BDCs) are publicly traded private debt and equity funds. I know that description isn’t terribly sexy, but keep reading and you’ll find there’s a lot to be excited about.

BDCs provide financing to firms too small to seek traditional bank financing or to do an IPO, but at the same time are too advanced to interest the earliest-stage venture capitalist. These companies are often near or at profitability and just need extra cash to reach the next milestone. Filling this void, BDCs provide funds to target companies in exchange for interest payments and/or an equity stake.

BDCs earn their living by lending at interest rates higher than those at which they borrow. Conceptually, they act like banks or bond funds, but with access to yields unlike any you’ll see from a traditional bond fund. The interest rate spread—meaning the difference between their capital costs and interest they charge their clients—is a major component of their business.

Oftentimes, a BDC will increase its dividend when market interest rates have not changed. Like a bank, the more loans it has in force, the more it profits. Increasing its dividend payout will generally have a very positive effect on its share price.

Unlike banks or many other traditional financial institutions, however, BDCs are structured to pay out more than 90% of their net profits to the shareholders. In return, BDCs don’t pay any income tax. In essence, their profits flow through to the owners. Many investors like to own BDCs in an IRA to create tax-deferred or tax-free income. The opportunity to use them for tax planning purposes, access to diversified early-stage financing, and the impressive dividend yields they deliver make them a perfect fit for the Bulletproof Income strategy we employ at Miller's Money Forever.

The Clients

As a business model, BDCs emerged in response to a particular need: early-stage companies needed funding but couldn’t do it publicly due to their small size. At the same time, these companies didn’t match the investment criteria of so-called angel investors or venture capital providers. Enter the Business Development Company.

BDC teams, through expertise and connections, select the most promising companies in their fields and provide funds in return for a debt or equity stake, expecting gains from a potential acquisition scenario and a flow of interest payments in the meantime. The ability to selectively lend money to the right startup companies is paramount. It makes little difference how much interest they charge if the client defaults on the loan.

With limited financing options, BDCs’ clients may incur strict terms regarding their debt arrangements. The debt often comes with a high interest rate, has senior-level status, and is often accompanied by deal sweeteners like warrants which add to the upside potential for those with a stake in the borrowing company.

In return for these stringent terms, the borrower can use the funds to:

•Increase its cash reserve for added security;

•Accelerate product development;

•Hire staff and purchase licenses necessary to advance R&D, etc.

•Invest in property, plant, and equipment to produce its product and bring it to market.

Turning to a BDC for funds allows a company to finance its development and minimize dilution of equity investors while reaching key value-adding milestones in the process.

What’s in It for Investors?

In addition to the unique opportunity to access early-stage financing, we like BDCs for their dividend policy and high yield. The Investment Act of 1940 requires vehicles such as BDCs to pay out a minimum of 90% of their earnings. In practice, they tend to pay out more than that, plus their short-term capital gains.

This often results in a high yield. Yields of 7-12% are common, which makes this vehicle unique in today’s low-yield environment. The risk is minimized by diversification—like a good bond fund, they spread their assets over many sectors. This rational approach and the resulting income make the right BDC(s) a great addition to our Bulletproof Income strategy.

BDCs and the Bulletproof Income Strategy

In short, BDCs serve our strategy by:

  • Providing inflation protection in the form of high yields and dividend growth;
  • Limiting our exposure to interest-rate risk, thereby adding a level of security (some BDCs borrow funds at variable rates, but not the ones we like);
  • Maintaining low leverage, which BDCs are legally required to do;
  • Distributing the vast majority of their income to shareholders, thereby creating an immediate link between the company’s operating success and the shareholders’ wellbeing… in other words, to keep their shareholders happy, BDCs have to perform well.

How Should You Pick a BDC?

Not every BDC out there qualifies as a sound investment. Here’s a list of qualities that make a BDC attractive.

  • Dividend distributions come from earnings. This may sound like common sense, but it’s worth reiterating. A successful BDC should generate enough quarterly income to pay off its dividend obligations. If it doesn’t, it will have to go to the market for funds and either issue equity or borrow—or deplete cash reserves it would otherwise use to fund future investments. An equity issuance would result in share dilution; debt would increase leverage with no imminent potential to generate gains; and a lower cash reserve is no good either. We prefer stocks that balance their commitments to the shareholders with a long-term growth strategy.
  • The dividends are growing. This is another characteristic of a solid income pick, BDC or otherwise. Ideally, the dividend growth would outpace inflation, in addition to the yield itself being higher than the official CPI numbers. This growth can come from increasing the interest rate spread and also having more loans on the books.
  • Yields should be realistic. We’d be cautious about a BDC that pays more than 12% of its income in dividends. Remember, gains come from the interest it receives from the borrowers. Higher interest indicates higher-risk debt on a BDC’s balance sheet, which should be monitored regularly.
  • Fixed-rate liabilities are preferred. We need our BDC to be able to cover its obligations if interest rates rise. Fixed rates are more predictable than floating rates; we like the more conservative approach.
  • Their betas should be (way) below 1. We don’t want our investment to move together with the broad market or be too interest-rate sensitive. Keeping our betas as low as possible provides additional opportunities to reduce risk, which is a critical part of our strategy.
  • They are diversified across many sectors. A BDC that has 100 tech companies in its portfolio is not as well diversified as a one with 50 firms scattered across a dozen sectors, including aerospace, defense, packaging, pharmaceuticals, and others. Review a company’s SEC filings to see how many baskets its eggs are in.

Wrap-up

Right now, BDCs look very interesting to income-seeking investors. They provide excellent yields, diversification opportunities, and access to early-stage companies that previously only institutions enjoyed. They also fit in with Miller Money Forever's Bulletproof Income strategy, the purpose of which is to provide seniors and savers with real returns, while offering maximum safety and diversification.

Catching a peek our Bulletproof portfolio is risk-free if you try today. Access it now by subscribing to Miller's Money Forever, with a 90-day money-back guarantee. If you don't like it, simply return the subscription within those first three months and we'll refund your payment, no questions asked. And the knowledge you gain in those months will be yours to keep forever.


| Digg This Article
 -- Published: Thursday, 30 January 2014 | E-Mail  | Print  | Source: GoldSeek.com

comments powered by Disqus



 



Increase Text SizeDecrease Text SizeE-mail Link of Current PagePrinter Friendly PageReturn to GoldSeek.com

 news.goldseek.com >> Story

E-mail Page  | Print  | Disclaimer 


© 1995 - 2017



GoldSeek.com Supports Kiva.org

© GoldSeek.com, Gold Seek LLC

The content on this site is protected by U.S. and international copyright laws and is the property of GoldSeek.com and/or the providers of the content under license. By "content" we mean any information, mode of expression, or other materials and services found on GoldSeek.com. This includes editorials, news, our writings, graphics, and any and all other features found on the site. Please contact us for any further information.

Live GoldSeek Visitor Map | Disclaimer

The views contained here may not represent the views of GoldSeek.com, its affiliates or advertisers. GoldSeek.com makes no representation, warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy or completeness of the information (including news, editorials, prices, statistics, analyses and the like) provided through its service. Any copying, reproduction and/or redistribution of any of the documents, data, content or materials contained on or within this website, without the express written consent of GoldSeek.com, is strictly prohibited. In no event shall GoldSeek.com or its affiliates be liable to any person for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided herein.