Thorough investment analysis should be preceded by an abbreviated process described in the “Five Elements.” Once this framework is understood, a private investor can determine whether a more in-depth and time-consuming investigation is warranted.
The five elements that influence an investment’s structure include:
1. Purpose – Why is this capital being raised?
2. Issuer – Who is issuing the security?
3. Security – What type of investment is being offered?
4. Repayment – What determines the success of the investment?
5. Risks – What can go wrong?
Each element is interrelated. Reviewing these topics in order enables the investor to gain a much-needed perspective before deciding to proceed.