Many startups are discovering that they can collaborate with a cash management expert to invest in secure Treasury and corporate bonds, or even portfolios of bonds, as interest rates continue to rise.
In today’s volatile financial landscape, more startups are exploring alternative investment options to traditional savings accounts or money market funds. One option that has gained popularity is investing in Treasury and corporate bonds through the guidance of a cash management specialist. Although this requires some additional effort, the returns are often higher than those of more passive investment vehicles.
A skilled cash management team can assist startups in navigating the complexities of the bond market, resulting in investment in safe and reliable Treasury securities or high-quality corporate bonds. Treasury securities include Treasury Bills, Notes, and Bonds, all of which offer a fixed interest rate throughout the life of the security. For early-stage companies, the most accessible options are Treasury Bills or occasionally Treasury Notes, as these securities have shorter maturities and allow for more flexibility.
One unique feature of Treasury Bills is that investors do not receive interest until the bond reaches maturity. As a result, investors often purchase these bonds below face value. For example, if an investor purchases a $1,000 T-Bill for $980 and holds it until maturity, they will receive $1,000, resulting in an implied interest rate of 2% ($20 gain on a $980 investment).
With the guidance of a cash management specialist, investing in Treasury and corporate bonds can offer startups a safe and profitable alternative to traditional savings accounts or money market funds. While it requires a little more work, the potential returns can be well worth the effort.
What if You Need to Sell Your Treasuries Early?
In the event of unexpected cash needs, startups may need to liquidate their Treasuries before the bond’s maturity date. However, a common concern is whether selling the bonds early risks losing principal, even with short-term Treasuries.
When investing in Treasuries, startups are faced with the possibility of needing to liquidate the bonds before the maturity date.
In such cases, they have two alternatives to consider.
The first option is to hold the bonds until maturity. By doing so, they can avoid risking a loss of principal and receive their interest as expected. However, matching the maturity dates of their bonds with their cash needs is essential.
The second option is to sell the Treasuries at a discount, which can protect against the risk of losing principal. For example, if interest rates suddenly rise, the value of a 2% bond will decrease.
To sell the bond, startups will have to offer it at a lower price than what they originally paid. However, because they bought the bond at a discount, they can still receive their nominal interest rate or cash without incurring a loss of principal.
Furthermore, buying Treasuries at a discount also means that the concept of losing principal is not as applicable. Startups can hold the bond until maturity and receive their original investment and interest, regardless of fluctuations in interest rates.
It’s worth noting that if interest rates go down again, the Treasury bond will become more valuable and can be sold for above par. This means that startups can profit from the bond in the same way they could lose if interest rates went up.
In conclusion, while Treasuries can offer a safe investment option, startups need to consider the timing of their cash needs and the potential risks and benefits of holding or selling their bonds. Working with a cash management specialist can help you navigate these considerations and make informed investment decisions.
How to Prevent Losses on Your Treasuries with a Cash Management Plan for Your Startup
As a startup, managing your cash flow is one of the most important things you can do to ensure the success of your business. With interest rates going up, many startups are turning to Treasuries and corporate bonds to make sure their cash is working as hard as possible. But what happens if you need to liquidate your Treasuries early? Do you risk losing any of your principals?
The answer is yes and no. If you can hold your Treasuries to maturity, you won’t risk a loss of principal. You’ll get paid back as you normally would, and you’ll receive your interest. However, if you have to sell your Treasuries early, you may have to sell them at a discount. This is because when interest rates go up, the value of your bond goes down, and other investors can buy new bonds yielding higher interest rates. This means there’s no incentive for them to buy your lower-yielding bond, so you’ll have to sell it for less than you paid for it.
The good news is that being able to buy Treasuries at a discount protects you from the risk of losing principal. Although you may still lose value when interest rates go up, you can mitigate that by holding onto your bond and getting paid out with the nominal amount of cash or nominal interest rate. When interest rates go down, your bonds are worth more, and they will start being sold for above par, meaning you’ll be making a profit on them.
To make sure you don’t get caught out by changes in interest rates, it’s important to match the maturity dates on your Treasuries with the dates you need cash. Your cash management specialist at your startup bank can help you with this, and can even structure your investments to mature at specific intervals (laddering) to ensure you always have cash on hand when you need it.
If you require assistance with cash management, startup accounting, taxes, venture capital, or startup investing, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Additionally, you may want to subscribe to our blog and follow our Facebook page for informative content on finance, accounting, taxes, and HR about startups.