"Unique" is a term bandied about on a regular basis on Wall Street, but in the case of so-called "interval funds", the shoe more than fits, description-wise.
Interval funds are a new kind of fund structure that periodically offers to buy back shares from shareholders, explains Cole Reifler, president and founder of Forefront Capital, an investment firm markets interval funds to investors for as little as $1,000. Additionally, interval funds are priced daily at net asset value although the funds aren't listed on any exchange. Thus, unlike traditional closed-end funds, interval funds don't trade above or below NAV.
"Interval funds are gaining popularity due to their ability to participate in sophisticated strategies, in a safe vehicle," says Reifler.
It's the illiquidity factor that gives interval funds the ability to participate in those unique strategies. "Most interval funds are focused on debt or loan opportunists, stickier investments, aiming to yield a higher return than equity focused strategies," explains Reifler. "They also allow non-accredited investors to participate in a portfolio of sophisticated opportunities, usually reserved for the wealthy or accredited investor."
Reifler says that if the opportunities are structured correctly to mitigate the inherent risks in higher yielding investments, non-accredited investors can "diversify their portfolios, and enjoy a steady stream of income" with interval funds.
"As interval funds have the same public oversight as any public company, they are a safe investment for any financial advisor or independent investor," he adds. "But due to the sophistication of investments, third-party valuation of securities is crucial to maintain transparency."
Unlike most open-end mutual funds, interval funds give investors access to a portfolio of sophisticated investments that are non-correlated to the equity markets, and provide the safety and transparency of any public company, while aiming to outperform mutual funds.