Markets Insight
  •  2/3/2022

Structured Investments in Action Part II: Growth Potential on Your Terms


Structured investments have evolved a lot over the last few decades, with an increase in flexible ways to tailor a portfolio to the unique situation and needs of an investor looking for either income or growth.

Growth-oriented structured investments are typically used to achieve consistent market exposure, with embedded protective features that can provide a degree of risk-management in a portfolio. Other times, and still on the growth side of the portfolio, structured investments can be used to try to capitalize on a specific market outlook (bullish or bearish) or to gain efficient, risk-tailored exposure to strategies that may be difficult to access directly.

Growth investors considering any structured investment should:

  • view structured investments as buy-and-hold strategies whose payouts are not guaranteed until maturity
  • understand there is no guaranteed secondary market and that while issuers have historically bought back structured investments, they are under no legal obligation to do so
  • be comfortable with the creditworthiness of the issuer since payments made by structured investments are subject to the credit risk of the issuer

Below we highlight just a few hypothetical strategies so that you can see structured investments in action on the growth side of the portfolio. But first, a high-level description of growth-oriented structured investments:

Growth solutions:

  • market participation is the goal, often with some risk mitigation
  • designed for an investor looking to grow their assets, generally characterized by a single payment at maturity
  • tied to the return of an underlier, such as an equity index, a basket of indices or a stock
  • can offer full principal protection, partial protection, or no protection at all

Growth use case #1: international exposure, with a degree of risk management

The objective: An investor seeks the potential growth and diversification that may come with international equity exposure. She is optimistic about emerging markets specifically, and comfortable with equity risk. However, she would appreciate some downside protection should those markets experience a slight to moderate decline.

A potential solution: A market linked growth note with upside participation tied to a broad emerging market equity index along with barrier protection.  An example of this type of note can be visualized in this hypothetical illustration:

Underlier: MSCI Emerging Markets Index
Term: 4 years

• leveraged and uncapped participation in any gains in the underlier at maturity
• return of principal, so long as the underlier has not declined below the barrier at maturity

• the potential for losses that are 1:1 from the underlier’s initial level should the underlier close below the barrier level at maturity; losses could be significant
• the underlier’s return is based on price return only and does not include dividends

Growth use case #2: expressing an investment view
The objective: An investor follows the market closely and feels that over the coming 18 months U.S. equity returns may be more muted, or even slightly negative (she expects single-digit returns, either positive or negative). She wants to remain engaged in the markets, but also somewhat protected if market gains do not continue.

A potential solution: A market linked growth note that offers exposure to U.S. equities, with the potential for a return regardless of whether market performance is positive or negative and a degree protection against a market decline. An example of this type of note can be visualized in this hypothetical illustration:

Underlier: S&P 500 Index
Term: 18-months

• upside participation (up to a cap) in any gains in the underlier
• payment even if the underlier return is negative, as long as negative return is not below the hard buffer level at maturity

• the hard buffer only protects principal against a degree of decline in the underlier; losses could be significant
• the underlier’s return is based on price return only and does not include dividends

Informed Investing
Structured investments come in a wide variety with different terms and conditions. There’s one for almost any market outlook or investment goal, giving investors the chance to stay in the market and choose how much protection they need to feel comfortable.

When considering any structured investment, understand the type of protection it offers as well as its pay-out potential by working with a qualified financial professional and carefully reviewing the offering documents before investing.

To learn more about how risk-managed and alternative solutions can be used within a diversified portfolio, visit

©2022 SIMON Markets LLC. All Rights Reserved. | 2022.02


This material is intended as general background information, for educational purposes only, and this material should not be used as a primary basis to make an investment decision. The material provides a general overview of the products described, and actual financial instruments may differ materially from those described. No person should consider investing in an instrument on the basis of these materials. Any investment decision should be made only after carefully reviewing the applicable prospectus. This does not constitute legal, accounting or tax advice, and the recipient should consult with his or her legal, accounting or tax adviser regarding the instruments described in this material.

This material is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as a recommendation or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security, financial product or instrument, or otherwise to participate in any particular trading strategy. In providing information on hypothetical, generic structured investments, SIMON is not recommending a specific security, nor does it recommend investing a certain percentage of a portfolio to one structured investment. Before investing in any product, you should review the prospectus or other offering documents, which contain important information, including the product’s investment objectives or goals, its strategies for achieving those goals, the principal risks of investing in the product, the product’s fees and expenses, and its past performance.

Please note that there is no public secondary market for structured investments. Although the issuer may from time to time make a market in certain structured investments, the issuer does not have any obligation to do so and market making may be discontinued at any time. Accordingly, you must be prepared to hold such investments until maturity. Any or all payments are subject to the creditworthiness of the issuer. SIMON Markets LLC operates a technology platform that makes available offerings of structured investments and annuities to financial professionals. In operating this technology platform, SIMON Markets LLC earns revenue based on the volume of transactions that take place in these products and would benefit by an increase in sales for these products.

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