Simply stated our goal is guiding municipal investors to stable or improving borrowers, and avoiding declining credits. To that end, self directed high net worth investors should not be without access to an investor point of view credit expert.
Can you rely on free sell side ratings provided by rating agencies?
Municipal bond interest rate risk differentials, or credit spreads are determined almost entirely by credit ratings assigned by one or more of the three public rating agencies.
Unlike the corporate bonds, market municipal issuers number more than 60,000, the vast majority will sell one or two issues in a generation. Only for-profit rating agencies whose fees are paid by the bond issuers can fund the "free" public credit ratings we see on thousands of different municipal issuers.
Up to now, only institutions could afford in house municipal credit specialists whose job is second guessing the free public ratings on issues being bought, sold or held by the particular institution.
Individual investors and their advisors who do not have access to professional buy side credit research have been disadvantaged by relying on "free" public municipal ratings provided by the sell side.
The track records of public municipal bond ratings speak for themselves.
Where to look and guidance on what to pick
Rating fee with consultation between $200-$500 per risk. Written credit reports - samples, call for quote. First rating consultation provided free of charge.
Prudence dictates that large investments whose value is subject to opinion, such as gemstones, should be appraised by experts other than free appraisals provided by the seller.
For individuals and their advisors who buy or sell issues in amounts of $100,000 and above.
Confidentially Guaranteed - Clients need not disclose principal amount(s)
Municipal Credit Insights, LP and Benchmark Bond Ratings®, LP Garden City, NY