Speaking at a lunch in Sydney last week, Aberdeen senior investment manager John Manning said cheap access to capital has seen some of the complex, high risk bonds of 2006 and 2007 brought back to the market by “creative investment bankers”.
Mr Manning said many of the hybrids such as ‘pay-in-kind toggle notes’ that were around in late 2006 and early 2007 have returned under “fancy new names”.
Aberdeen head of Australian fixed income Nick Bishop said these “deeply subordinated instruments being issued by companies offer the same risk profile as equities but offer half the fully franked dividend yield”.
He said the weak bond structures are returning at a time when accessibility to these types of assets is greater than ever before.
Mr Bishop said Aberdeen is concerned there “hasn’t been [a] sufficient level of education” for SMSF trustees to go with this accessibility”.
Mr Manning said SMSF trustees can be vulnerable to these types of structures since they have “no idea what risk they’re taking on board”.
“The key challenge for the investment community today is to make sure you’re getting paid for the risk that you’re assuming,” he said.
“The focus [should be] on understanding the risk, being comfortable with the risk, before you start looking at the price of something.”