Private Placements Not Necessarily Illiquid

High Net Worth investors have long been advised that investments in private companies had the additional risk factor over public securities of illiquidity and that one should not be surprised of holding periods of five, seven or more years.

However, in recent years more and more platforms have been created that allow the trading of private securities, well before the company goes public. In fact, companies are staying private much longer than they used to, which has made these platforms more popular given the demand. Even well-established organizations like the NASDAQ stock market have created platforms to trade private companies.

In the world of private equity and venture capital, private placements are a popular way for companies to raise capital from accredited investors. Private placements involve the sale of securities to a limited number of investors, usually institutional investors, high net worth individuals, or venture capital firms. These securities are not publicly traded and sometimes sold at a discount to their fair market value.

However, investors in private placements may find themselves in a situation where they need to sell their securities before the company goes public or is acquired by another company. This is where the secondary market for private placements comes in. Sometimes the person who wants to sell their private security is an employee who was granted stock in a fast-growing company and wants to reduce their concentrated newfound wealth from coming just from their employer.

The secondary market for private placements is a market where investors can sell their securities to other investors. This market is also known as the secondary market for private equity, as it primarily involves the trading of private equity and venture capital investments.

In the secondary market, investors can buy and sell shares in private companies that are not publicly traded. Unlike the primary market where companies issue new shares to raise capital, the secondary market involves the trading of existing shares.

The secondary market is not as liquid as the public markets. Buyers and sellers in the secondary market must find each other, negotiate a price, and complete the transaction without the help of a centralized exchange. This lack of a centralized exchange makes it more difficult to determine the fair market value of the securities being traded. The number of companies traded is limited, and if you invest in a private company that initially does not have a secondary market, there is no guarantee that it will ever trade on a secondary marketplace.

The secondary market for private placements operates through a network of brokers and dealers who specialize in matching buyers and sellers of private securities. These brokers and dealers have access to a pool of accredited investors who are interested in buying shares in private companies. They also have relationships with private equity firms and venture capital funds, which often have a portfolio of private companies that they are willing to buy and sell shares in.

The brokers and dealers in the secondary market for private placements charge a fee for their services, which is typically a percentage of the transaction value. This fee covers the costs of matching buyers and sellers, conducting due diligence on the securities being traded, and facilitating the transfer of ownership.

Investors who are looking to buy securities on the secondary market must also meet certain criteria. They must be accredited investors and must have the financial resources to purchase the securities. They should also conduct their own due diligence on the company and the securities being traded, as the brokers and dealers in the secondary market are not necessarily responsible for the accuracy of the information provided by the sellers.

If the recent trend of more private companies being available to trade has increased their appeal for you as an investor, make sure you involve your financial advisor in your investment decision process. Your licensed advisor will give you a dispassionate second set of eyes when making such a critical decision.

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