What is STRUCTURED PRODUCT? What does STRUCTURED PRODUCT mean? STRUCTURED PRODUCT meaning - STRUCTURED PRODUCT definition - STRUCTURED PRODUCT explanation.
Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ license.
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In structured finance, a structured product, also known as a market-linked investment, is a pre-packaged investment strategy based on derivatives, such as a single security, a basket of securities, options, indices, commodities, debt issuance or foreign currencies, and to a lesser extent, swaps. The variety of products just described is demonstrative of the fact that there is no single, uniform definition of a structured product. A feature of some structured products is a "principal guarantee" function, which offers protection of principal if held to maturity. For example, an investor invests $100, the issuer simply invests in a risk-free bond that has sufficient interest to grow to $100 after the five-year period. This bond might cost $80 today and after five years it will grow to $100. With the leftover funds the issuer purchases the options and swaps needed to perform whatever the investment strategy. Theoretically an investor can just do this themselves, but the cost and transaction volume requirements of many options and swaps are beyond many individual investors.
As such, structured products were created to meet specific needs that cannot be met from the standardized financial instruments available in the markets. Structured products can be used as an alternative to a direct investment, as part of the asset allocation process to reduce risk exposure of a portfolio, or to utilize the current market trend.
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Rule 434 (regarding certain prospectus deliveries) defines structured securities as "securities whose cash flow characteristics depend upon one or more indices or that have embedded forwards or options or securities where an investor's investment return and the issuer's payment obligations are contingent on, or highly sensitive to, changes in the value of underlying assets, indices, interest rates or cash flows".
The Pacific Stock Exchange defines structured products as "products that are derived from and/or based on a single security or securities, a basket of stocks, an index, a commodity, debt issuance and/or a foreign currency, among other things" and include "index and equity linked notes, term notes and units generally consisting of a contract to purchase equity and/or debt securities at a specific time".
Structured product business, as a key part of customer-driven derivatives business, has changed dramatically in recent years. Its modern setup requires comprehensive understanding of:
Prevailing regulatory environment, the impact of existing and forthcoming regulations including MIFID II, KYC, PRIIPs - KIDs, etc;
Principles of risk-based capital/liquidity requirements specified by Basel 3, FRTB, etc;
Structured product manufacture process, effective derivatives business value chain linking trading, structuring, quantitative modelling and risk management;
Structured product distribution channels, product wrappers, impact of e-platforms;
Structured product payoff features and their risk characteristics;
Real-life quantitative pricing models able to handle multi-curve environments, volatility smile/skew, etc.
The risks associated with many structured products, especially those that present risks of loss of principal due to market movements, are similar to risks involved with options. The serious risks in options trading are well-established and customers must be explicitly approved for options trading. The U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) suggests that firms "consider" whether purchasers of some or all structured products should be required to go through a similar approval process, so that only accounts approved for options trading would also be approved for some or all structured products.