Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Confused by bonds? Want to know more about Neighborly? Read on.


Opening a Neighborly account


How do I sign up?

To sign up for Neighborly, click here or press the Sign up button at the top of any page. Go to neighborly.com to learn more about Neighborly and our mission.

Why does Neighborly ask about my marital status and head of household status?

Since many municipal bonds are exempt from federal income taxes, the amount of taxes you currently pay may affect the returns you earn. We use your marital status, head of household status and location to estimate your current tax rate, so we can provide estimated tax-equivalent returns. Learn more.

Why does Neighborly ask about my income and financial status?

Due to FINRA and MSRB regulations, we are required to obtain financial information from you, which is reasonably sufficient for us to determine that an investment purchased through Neighborly is suitable for you, given your investment profile. We’re working to widen access to local investing to as many people as possible. If you’re based in the U.S. and would like wider access to investment opportunities, tell us your story. Your experiences help us make the case for opening up local impact investing.

Because everyone’s circumstances are different, we ask about your net worth in order to ensure we have a complete picture of your financial situation. For example, you may have no current income but have accumulated sufficient savings to fund the investments you’re planning to make.

Why does Neighborly ask about my expenses and upcoming financial commitments?

If you’re investing in a bond or other investment for a number of years, it’s important for us to know if you’re likely to need access to your investment in the foreseeable future. For instance, if you’re planning to buy a house in the next two years and will need to withdraw money from other investments to fund your downpayment, it might not be advisable for you to invest in a 10-year bond. As your broker it’s our responsibility to alert you if the investment decision you’re making may not be suitable for your circumstances.

Why does Neighborly ask what my source of funds is for my account, and whether or not I am a Foreign Financial Institution?

We are required to ask these questions to meet federal Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations under the Patriot Act (2001) and associated rulings. Learn more.

Why does Neighborly ask if I am affiliated with a broker-dealer, a publicly-traded company, or a military or government organization?

Securities regulations require us to identify individuals with these affiliations in order to determine any potential conflicts of interest or other restrictions on their investment activity. For instance, a representative of a broker-dealer that is underwriting a bond issuance may be unable to invest in that issuance. Similarly, the chief financial officer of a city who worked on a bond issuance would usually be unable to invest in that issuance. We collect this information to verify that you don’t have any conflicts.

What is an OFAC background check?

We are required to check that potential investors are not subject to economic sanctions enforced by the U.S. government under the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).  OFAC administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals. OFAC provides a public search tool to check whether individuals or organizations are subject to these sanctions. Read more about broker-dealer’s responsibilities related to OFAC on the FINRA website or read the Treasury Department’s OFAC FAQ for more information.

What is Rule 14b-1(c) of the Securities Exchange Act and how does it affect me?

Under rule 14b-1(c) of the Securities Exchange Act, we are required to disclose your name, address and relevant investment holdings to issuers whose investments you own. You may opt out of this disclosure requirement. Read the rule. If you would like to change your preference on this disclosure at any time, please contact us.

Why does Neighborly collect my Social Security number (SSN) and government-issued ID?

The U.S. government requires all brokers, including our clearing broker, to collect this information. Read more about these requirements at sec.gov. Your SSN and ID information may be used to verify your identity when processing an order. This is a one-time process and we use Docusign, a United States Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) compliant secure document processor to verify your identity with our clearing partner. Your information is not stored on Neighborly servers.

I don’t have a United States ID. Can I still invest on Neighborly?

You can create a Neighborly account and complete your investment profile without a United States ID, but we don’t currently support investing for folks without one. We are always working to expand the range of potential investors we can work with based in the United States and elsewhere. Got a question about ID? Contact us.

What is a clearing broker and why do I need to provide information to a clearing broker?

A clearing broker helps to ensure your order is settled appropriately. Most broker-dealers, including Neighborly, partner with one or more clearing brokers to settle orders on behalf of investors. To meet regulatory requirements and prevent fraud, clearing brokers are required to review investor account information for all orders they are involved in. Neighborly currently partners with Hilltop Securities, a clearing broker based in Dallas, TX. After you open an account, you will receive physical or electronic documents relating to your investments from Hilltop Securities. You should review Hilltop Securities’ Privacy Policy and Customer Brochure.

I reviewed the form being submitted to Hilltop Securities and noticed that Sweep instructions had been filled in on my behalf. Why do you do this?

Neighborly sets default options related to how we should treat cash balances in your account. Under these options, known as “Sweep instructions”, we sweep any cash balances into your account into an FDIC Insured Deposit Account, which is the default option the IRS recommends to most investors. If you would like to change this default option, please email support@neighborly.com.

How long will it take for my account to be approved for investing?

This process typically takes 24-48 hours. We may contact you to request additional information to process your account. In some cases we may require a voided check or deposit receipt to verify your bank account. Contact your bank for instructions on how to obtain a voided check or deposit receipt. If you are unable to supply on request any additional information or materials required for the account opening process, this may delay or prevent us from opening your account and processing your order.

My dashboard shows that my investment profile is incomplete. How will this affect my investments?

You will be unable to invest on Neighborly if you have not completed your investment profile. Click on the notification on your dashboard to complete your profile. Contact us if you have any questions.

How do I make changes to my investment profile information? (e.g. I recently moved, my income status changed or my investment objectives have changed)

It is important that you keep us updated on any changes to your investment profile so that we can serve you appropriately. To make changes, log in by pressing the “Log in” button at the top of any page, then click on Investment profile to edit your answers. If you amend your investment profile at any time, we will need to review and approve your revised profile before you are able to resume making new investments. We are required to contact you from time to time (and at least once per year) to confirm your circumstances have not changed.

Making an investment


How do I find out about new investment opportunities on Neighborly?

We are currently marketing new investment opportunities directly to Neighborly users who are eligible to invest. Sign up and complete your investment profile to receive notifications of new opportunities.

In 2017, we are expecting to launch new investment opportunities in communities including Cambridge, MA and the five winners of the Neighborly Bonds Challenge – Austin, TX; Somerville, MA; Burlington, VT; Housing Trust of Silicon Valley and Lawrence, KS.

How do I pay for my investments?

Neighborly supports checking and savings accounts at US banks and financial institutions. We do not accept payments from checks or credit cards.

You can add a payment method on the Payment Methods screen or from the dropdown menu in the top right of the screen. 

For some financial institutions, we are able to verify your bank account instantly. We use Plaid, the industry-standard in secure bank account authorization, to perform this instant verification.

Plaid’s instant verification service supports the following institutions:

  • American Express
  • Arvest Bank
  • Associated Bank Personal
  • Banco Popular Puerto Rico
  • Bank of America
  • Barclaycard
  • BB&T
  • BECU
  • Bluebird by American Express
  • Capital One
  • Capital One 360
  • Charles Schwab
  • Chase
  • Citi
  • Citizens Bank
  • Commerce Bank
  • Discover Bank
  • Fidelity
  • Fidelity Investments
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • First Citizens Bank
  • First National Bank of Omaha
  • First Tennessee
  • FirstBank of Colorado
  • GoBank
  • HR Block Emerald Card
  • Huntington Bank
  • Key Bank
  • M&T Bank
  • Navy Federal Credit Union
  • PNC
  • Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union
  • Redwood Credit Union
  • San Diego County CU
  • Schools First Federal Credit Union
  • Simple
  • State Employees Credit Union
  • SunTrust
  • TD Bank
  • TD Canada Trust Easy Web
  • Union Bank
  • US Bank
  • USAA
  • Webster Bank
  • Wells Fargo
  • Woodforest National Bank

We are working with Plaid to expand the range of institutions we can support for instant verification.

If your bank or financial institution is not in this list, you can still add a payment method from the Payment Methods screen. Follow these steps:

  1. Choose “Add your account manually”
  2. Choose “Continue” to open an ACH form.
  3. Fill out the fields requested.
  4. Take a photo or scan of a check or deposit slip for your account and attach it using the file upload.
  5. Sign and submit the form.
  6. After your payment method has been added, click Return to Cart to review and submit your order.
I’m having trouble attaching a photo of a check or deposit slip. What do I do?

Follow steps 1-6 above and submit your order without a photo attached, and email Neighborly Support to let us know you’re having trouble. We’ll be in touch to help resolve the issue. It’s important that you submit your order so we can keep your place in line in case the issuance sells out.

What happens after I submit my payment method for manual ACH verification?

We will verify your account with our clearing partner and contact you when verification has been completed. This process may take several days depending on your institution. Remember to submit your order so we can keep your place in line in case the issuance sells out while we complete the verification of your payment method. We make best efforts to honor all orders on a first come, first served basis, in the order of receipt, provided a payment method can be verified by the settlement date of the issuance.

How do I submit an order?

On an issuance page, click on the Investment options tab to choose the amount and maturity options that meet your investment goals. Click Invest to review and place your order.

investment

On the review screen, add a payment method or select from a stored payment method then submit your order.

submit-order

If you have not completed your investment profile, you will be prompted to complete it before your order can be submitted.

Is there an investment minimum or maximum?

The minimum investment is determined by the minimum denomination of the issuance. Always check the denomination on the issuance page. In this example, the denomination is $5,000.

denomination

Why is there a minimum order size for some opportunities?

Some opportunities may have higher or lower minimum requirements. Most traditional municipal bonds have a minimum of $5,000 due to common market practices. We’re working to lower these minimum requirements to allow anyone to invest in places they care about. If a bond does have a higher or lower minimum, this will be indicated on the order screen.

Can I buy a bond on behalf of another person, or in the name of a trust?

Yes, we like when people give bonds as gifts! If you would like the investment to be held in the name of another person or a trust, please contact us before making an investment because we may need additional documentation.

Can I transfer bonds that I bought to another person?

It is possible to transfer bonds to another person provided they have a valid brokerage account with Neighborly or another broker-dealer. Transfer fees may apply. Please contact us to arrange a transfer.

What happens after I submit an order?

After you submit your order, our investment team reviews it for approval and allocation. Allocations are subject to rules and conditions of each sale. If you have not yet opened an investment account and connected your bank account, your account and payment method will need to be approved by a Neighborly representative. See above for more information on the account opening process.

Completing your order is a three-step process. In most cases you will not need to do anything for your order to be delivered.

Step 1: Order approval

After you submit your order, a Neighborly representative will review it to ensure that it meets your investment objectives and is suitable for your investment profile. Learn more about suitability and investment objectives. Most orders are processed within 24 hours. At this stage Neighborly may contact you to ask for additional information or clarify your order if it cannot be approved based on the information you provided. If we are unable to reach you or your order is not deemed suitable for your objectives and profile, it may be rejected. We will always notify you when any action is taken on your order.

Step 2: Order filled

After your order has been approved, it will be added to the queue for allocation provided the issuance has not sold out. If we are only able to fulfil part of your order, we will contact you to re-confirm your order.

Step 3: Order delivered

After your order has been filled, it will automatically be marked for delivery. At this stage we will initiate a trade into your brokerage account and an ACH transfer to withdraw the funds for your order unless you have previously funded your account. When this payment completes, your order will be delivered and you are now the proud owner of a municipal bond! Congratulations. At this time we are required to send you a trade confirmation relating to your order, which will be sent to you by our clearing partner, Hilltop Securities.

What happens if an issuance has sold out?

If an issuance sells out before you have had the opportunity to complete an order, don’t despair! There are times when the amount on sale may change.  Your order will be added to the waitlist and will be processed in the event that either the issuer makes additional bonds available or other investors are unable to complete their account applications or payments.

How do I cancel an order?

If you wish to cancel an order that has been submitted but not yet filled, you must click the cancel button on the unwanted order under the My Investments tab in your Neighborly profile before orders have been processed. Failing to cancel your open order before processing will result in your participation.

Returns and fees


How much will I earn investing in municipal bonds?

The return you earn on municipal bonds depends on the issuer of the bonds, the length of your investment, and the individual deal. The return rates on municipal bonds can be lower than other types of bonds, such as bonds issued by companies, because the risk associated with investing in deals backed by a city government is generally considered lower. However, because returns on municipal bonds are in most cases tax free, you should measure the returns not simply by taking the yield of the bond, but also taking into account the tax you saved by investing in a municipal bond. Consult your accountant or check your most recent tax return for your tax rate.  The return you earn, adjusted for the tax saved, is known as the Tax Equivalent Yield.

How will I receive the interest on my investment?

Easy, no work on your part. The interest and original investment amount flow straight back into your brokerage account.  That money will be available for withdrawal, transfer, or reinvestment. Fees may apply. The schedule of interest payments depends on the issuance and investment maturity you choose, so you should always check the terms on the issuance page. For example, some issuances pay interest twice per year, while others, such as zero-coupon bonds, pay returns in one lump sum when the bond matures.

When should I expect to have my original investment returned?

The maturity of the bond determines when you will receive your original investment back. However, the issuer may have the option to redeem your investment early. This will be defined in the Official Statement. If you are buying a callable bond you should review carefully any optional, special, or extraordinary redemption provisions that may apply. Bonds that may be redeemed early are often referred to as ‘callable bonds’. Learn more about callable bonds. Please see the Preliminary Official Statement and Official Statement of the issuance for full redemption conditions of your specific investment.

Are the returns I earn on municipal bonds really tax free?

If a bond is taxable it is usually noted in the title of the issuance, front cover of the official statement, or in the tax section of the official statement. Under present federal income tax law, the interest you receive from investing in municipal bonds is free from federal income taxes. In most states, interest received from securities issued by governmental units within the state is also exempt from state and local taxes. However, the federal government may not permit the tax-exempt status to deals that don’t provide a major benefit to the public. Consult your accountant and the Official Statement for details.

Do I need to report my tax exempt interest?

Although interest income from munis is tax exempt, taxpayers are still required to report such interest on their federal income tax returns. There may be other tax considerations such as Original Issue Discount to consider, too. It is best to consult an accountant or tax professional for your specific situation. Return estimates given on Neighborly are for information purposes only and do not affect the computation of any taxes you may owe.

Understanding risk


How safe are municipal bonds?

Munis have historically been considered relatively conservative investments and municipalities have a record of exhibiting stronger repayment patterns than corporate borrowers of the same credit rating. However, credit ratings should not be the sole basis for any investment decision. Please review all associated materials provided, including the official statement, before making an investment decision.

What are the risks associated with investing in bonds?

Each issuances will list its associated risks in the Official Statement. Some statements may include a section called ‘Bondholders Risks’ or similar (for example, see p16 of this document). We encourage all investors to read these sections. In addition to a bond’s individual credit risk, bonds are subject to three kinds of risk: interest rate risk, market valuations and call risk. Interest rate risk means that when interest rates rise, bond prices fall. Generally, the longer a bond’s maturity, the more sensitive it is to this risk. The market value of bonds may fluctuate, and investors who sell their bonds before they mature may earn more or less than their original investment amount due to changes in market conditions, such as interest rates, or changes in the issuer’s financial circumstances. Call risk is the risk that the issuer will redeem the bonds, fully or partially, before the scheduled maturity date. If a bond is called, investors are paid back their original investment amount and will not earn the interest they may have anticipated in future years. Learn more here. The MSRB and FINRA also provide resources for investors to learn more about the risks involved with investing.

Are bonds on Neighborly insured?

Historically, the number of bonds insured has fluctuated based on market pressures and investor demand. Some, but not all, will carry insurance. Some bonds can be insured after their initial offering too. Read more here. You can find out whether a bond is insured in the “Credit and return information” section on any deal page. Contact us if you have questions regarding bond insurance on a specific issuance.

What are impact ratings and how are they different from credit ratings?

Impact ratings are a measure of the issuance’s impact on the environment and society. Impact rating methodologies differ depending on the provider of the rating. Learn about one of the impact ratings we display.

What can I expect if my bonds are called before maturity?

If your bonds are called, you will receive your principal back early but you will not receive any of the predicted future interest after the call date. Since your original investment will be returned to you, you will have the opportunity to reinvest in a new deal.

Managing your investments


Can I transfer my bond to another brokerage account?

Absolutely. After the sale is completed, Neighborly can transfer bonds to a brokerage account at another institution. There may be fees associated with a transfer. Contact us to learn more.

How do I sell my bonds?

Bonds sold through Neighborly are book-entry bonds with registered CUSIPs, and therefore are tradeable in the secondary market in the same way as any other registered municipal security.

There’s a whole market, known as the secondary market, for these kind of sales. Neighborly doesn’t currently provide secondary market services, but we would like to hear from you if you think we should. If you would like to sell a bond you bought on Neighborly, let us know by emailing support@neighborly.com. We’ll talk with you about what to expect and how you would like to receive your payment.

What happens if I sell my bond early?

Although munis are typically bought to be held until maturity, however, bonds can be sold before maturity.  Bonds can be sold in several ways, including in the secondary market. Bonds are subject to market risks and you might sell your bonds at the same price you bought them at, higher or less than your original purchase price. There may be also tax consequences if you sell bonds at a profit.  If you have questions on selling bonds, please contact us.

Troubleshooting


How do I reset my password?

To reset your password, click on Forgot your password from the Login screen or click here to reset your password.

The page won’t load

If you’re having trouble loading a page on Neighborly, try pressing refresh on your browser. If you continue to have problems, please report the error to our development team. Be sure to specify the URL of the page you were on, the browser and operating system you are using, and any error messages displayed on screen. To speed up your request, consider attaching a link to a screenshot of the error using an application such as Cloud.

I can’t log in. What do I do?

If you’re having trouble logging in, make sure your email is spelled correctly, caps lock is not on or try resetting your password (see instructions above). If you continue to have problems, please report the error to our development team. Be sure to specify the URL of the page you were on, the browser and operating system you are using, and any error messages displayed on screen.

How can I delete my account?

We’re sorry to see you go. Contact us and we’ll delete your account. Please note that if you have outstanding investments on Neighborly, it may be necessary to transfer these investments to another broker-dealer. Please refer to our fee disclosure for any fees associated with account transfer.  Neighborly will not be liable for fees that other broker-dealers may charge you to transfer your investments.

How do I find answers to questions about a specific issuance?

To find issuance specific questions, visit the issuance page and click on the FAQ tab.

Bond basics


What are municipal bonds?

Municipal bonds, or “munis” as we like to call them, can be thought of as a loan. They’re generally issued by state or local governments to finance long-term projects. When you purchase a bond, you are lending to a large borrower, typically a government entity. The borrower makes a legal promise to repay the amount borrowed (the principal) plus interest. Munis are unique in that they can be issued as either taxable (like corporate bonds) or tax exempt where their interest is exempt from federal income tax, and in many cases, state and local taxes as well. Learn more in our guide to municipal bonds.

Are bonds on Neighborly different from other municipal bonds?

No. Bonds sold through Neighborly are book-entry bonds with registered CUSIPs. You may notice that Neighborly bonds are more often denominated at $1,000, while most municipal bonds are denominated at $5,000. This is because a key part of Neighborly’s mission is to widen access to investments by providing municipal bonds at lower denominations.

Why do people buy munis?

Many investors buy munis because their interest is often exempt from federal income tax, and in many cases, state and local taxes as well. Additionally, munis often fund capital projects that have an impact on our daily lives, including schools, highways, hospitals, housing, sewer systems and other important public projects. Learn more. For more information on how municipal bonds compare to other investment types, such as stocks and savings accounts, read our guide.

How big is the bond market?

The size of the U.S. municipal bond market is estimated to be $3.7 trillion. According to rating agency Fitch, the size of the US corporate bond market is about $4 trillion.

What is the difference between Revenue and General Obligation bonds?

A general obligation bond typically refers to a bond issued by a state or local government in which interest is paid and principal is repaid from the issuer’s general funds. Most general obligation bonds are backed by the “full faith and credit” (and in many cases the taxing power) of the issuer.

A revenue bond typically refers to a bond in which interest is paid and principal is repaid from a specific source of revenue pledged to the bond. For example, a bond issued by a municipal water and sewer authority would typically involve revenues obtained through local water and sewer assessments. In another example, a government might issue bonds on behalf of a private entity or 501c3. In this case, interest is paid and principal is repaid exclusively from revenues pledged by the entity receiving financing.

What is a coupon payment?

Most bonds provide semiannual interest payments, known as coupons. If the bond is sold at a price other than its face value, investors will calculate the yield as the overall rate of return instead of the coupon.

What is a yield and how is it calculated?

The yield is the return you will receive on a bond, adjusted for its current price. Each bond has a fixed interest rate (known as a coupon), which does not change even when the bond’s price changes in the market. In some cases, bonds are sold at face value or par, and so you receive a return equal to that fixed interest rate. However, if the price of the bond fluctuates, you still receive the same fixed interest payment regardless of the price you paid for the bond.

The yield shows the return you will receive relative to the current price. If the price of the bond rises above its original value, the yield will fall, because you will receive the same fixed interest payment but pay more than the face value for it. If the price of the bond falls below its original value, your yield will rise, because you are receiving the fixed interest payment but paying less than the face value for it. For example:

The city of Neighborly, CA, wants to raise $5 million to convert city hall’s power supply to solar energy. To raise the money it decides to sell $5 million of 5-year bonds, priced at $1,000 each. The Neighborly Solar bonds pay 5% interest, so investors receive $50 per year for the next five years.

Erica buys a Neighborly Solar bond for $1000, its face value. Erica receives $50 interest per year. Erica’s yield is 50 / 1000 = 5%.

Meanwhile, Eduardo buys a Neighborly Solar bond from a broker, but is charged $1100 for it. Like Erica and all other investors, he receives $50 interest per year. Eduardo’s yield is 50 / 1100 = 4.5%.

What is a zero-coupon bond?

Zero-coupon bonds receive interest like regular bonds, except the interest is paid in one sum at the end of the bond’s maturity rather than semiannual payments during the duration of the bond. While the bond is outstanding the interest payments add to what is called the “accreted value”, which represents the cumulative amount of interest + principal of the bond at that time. Accreted value is the total amount owed to you by the bond issuer at any given time, and is different from the market price of the security.

Zero coupon bonds are usually sold at a substantial discount from the face amount. For instance, an investor may purchase a $2,000 zero-coupon bond with a 5.5% yield and a maturity of 20 years for roughly $675. At the end of the 20 years, the investor will receive $2,000. The difference between $2,000 and $675 represents the interest that compounds automatically until the bond matures.

What is a CUSIP?

A CUSIP is a nine-character code that uniquely identifies a financial security, such as a bond or stock, and is used to avoid confusion in trading. The first six characters identify the issuer of the security. Bonds are assigned CUSIPs when they are issued and approved for trading, so typically a bond deal will not have CUSIPs listed when it is first announced. CUSIP numbers are issued by the CUSIP Service Bureau, which is currently operated by S&P Capital IQ, a division of McGraw Hill Financial.

What is the difference between a serial bond and a term bond?

Munis are commonly issued as serial bonds with maturity dates occurring at regular intervals until the entire issue is paid back. Serial bonds have different interest rates for each maturity and generally offer investors more variation in their investments. Munis may also be issued in the form of term bonds, which is a series of bonds that matures on a single date. Term bonds typically have longer maturity dates and can be issued alongside serials bonds in the same deal or by themselves.

Where does Neighborly receive information regarding investment opportunities?

Neighborly works with issuers to originate and underwrite new investment opportunities. Learn more about our work with issuers. We also use data provided by issuers and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB). We do our best to work directly with issuers to bring you the most comprehensive view of an opportunity at the earliest stage.

Why are some issuances missing information? (yield, interest, etc.)

Neighborly uses publicly available sources to obtain information on all bond deals. Although trusted and reliable, these sources are not always quick to update and we only post information as it becomes available. Please know that we are doing everything we can to work directly with issuers to bring you the most comprehensive view of a bond deal at the earliest stage.

Issuing with Neighborly


Do I have to have a project ready to finance?

No. You may apply without a project. However, please indicate the type of projects that you are considering. For instance, if you want to submit an infrastructure project, but are not sure which specific project you would like to fund, indicate “TBD – Infrastructure” in the Project Description.

What will my interest rate be?

Neighborly is committed to executing transactions at prevailing market rates based on time of sale, size, structure, and credit of issue. In addition, Neighborly uses leading market indicators such as MMD, BVAL and MSRB trade data to evaluate bond pricing. Additionally, Neighborly has created transparent models based on rating, sector and other deal structure options such as maturity and call options. We use this data alongside our extensive market experience to enable issuers to come to market at competitive rates.

What if my bond issuance isn’t completely sold to retail during pricing?

Neighborly prioritizes sales to retail investors in your community through an extensive local and regional marketing campaign.  However, if there are unsold balances, Neighborly will either utilize its balance sheet to underwrite or the Neighborly Capital Network to sell the remaining balances. Our Capital Network includes more than 10,000 retail investors nationwide along with institutional asset managers, family offices and other large institutional buyers.

Does my project need to be a green bond deal or a socially responsible project?

We believe that much of the core municipal market meets the criteria of socially responsible investing. We value the contribution a project makes to the community over its specific labelling or sector focus. Many general obligation pledges and essential revenue credits are used to finance new projects that make a significant contribution to social and economic development.

Do I need a municipal advisor?

Neighborly welcomes your Municipal Advisor (MA) to the process, although as with any issuance, it is not required. We cannot recommend the use of a MA but acknowledge that they are an often-used resource for municipalities. If selected, our role is not that of a municipal advisor, but rather that of a broker/dealer. In providing this information to a municipal entity or obligated person, Neighborly is not recommending an action, acting as an advisor, and does not owe a fiduciary duty to an issuer under Section 15B of the Exchange Act with respect to this information. Neighborly is acting for its own interests as a broker/dealer, and any recipient may wish to discuss this information with their advisors before acting on this information. Securities are offered through Neighborly Securities a member of SIPC and FINRA. Neighborly may own, buy, or sell these securities. Additional information at neighborly.com/terms. In the case that an issuer has an outstanding Independent Registered Municipal Advisor (IRMA) letter, that can be delivered to Neighborly and Neighborly can conduct underwriting work with this exemption in mind.

Does Neighborly charge a fee to issuers?

In 2016 Neighborly agreed to waive its underwriting fees to the five winners of the Neighborly Bonds Challenge. Neighborly charges competitive underwriting rates to all other issuers and uses technology to reduce costs to the fullest practicable extent.

Security and privacy


How do I know my information is safe with Neighborly?

We take security seriously. Though we strive to create a streamlined investment experience, security is never a trade-off. Bank account information is sent directly to our trusted payment gateway; we don’t keep this information and it is never sent to our servers. All other communications between your computer and our servers are encrypted for your protection. If you have any kind of report related to the safety of our systems, please reach us at security@neighborly.com.

What does Neighborly do with my personal information?

Neighborly will never sell, trade or share your information with third parties without your consent. We share certain information with our partners in order to comply with regulations set by the Securities and Exchange Commission. You may find a copy of our privacy policy statement at the bottom of our home page or at neighborly.com/privacy.

About Neighborly


What is Neighborly?

Neighborly is a San Francisco based firm, and provides underwriting services through its registered broker dealer subsidiary, Neighborly Securities. Neighborly leverages its financial technology focus to deliver an enhanced connection between states and localities to investors in their communities. Neighborly is not a municipal advisor.

Are you a broker-dealer?

Neighborly Securities is a registered broker dealer. Neighborly Securities, a wholly owned subsidiary of Neighborly Corporation, provides underwriting services to municipal issuers. Neighborly leverages its financial technology focus to deliver an enhanced connection between issuers and investors. Neighborly is not a municipal advisor.

Is Neighborly regulated?

Yes. Neighborly’s wholly-owned broker-dealer subsidiary, Neighborly Securities, is a member of FINRA and SIPC and falls under the regulatory supervision of FINRA, MSRB, the SEC and various State Securities Administrators.

Data sources


What universe of data does Neighborly cover?

Currently Neighborly’s data platform covers California issuers, their local economies and their bond issuances. We don’t currently cover special districts. Neighborly tracks data on public finance organizations such as municipal advisors, underwriters and counsel, but don’t yet provide comprehensive coverage of their market activity or associated issuers. We add new data every week and will eventually cover all issuers and public finance organizations in the United States.

Where does Neighborly get its data from?

Neighborly displays publicly available data published by third parties including the U.S. Census Bureau, the Education Data Partnership and the California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission (CDIAC). We also display data derived from public Official Statements published by bond issuers in a wide range of sources.

In all cases where third-party data is used, the source is given. For instance, employment charts include an attribution to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

How accurate is the data?

The data shown on Neighborly is as accurate as the source. We make best efforts to verify that the data we’re showing is the same as the data in our source database, but if that data is stored incorrectly by the holder of the data (such as the census bureau) or misreported by the supplier (such as a public agency), we are likely unable to detect those errors. In cases where we have more than one source for a piece of information, we periodically check the consistency of information between sources, and report inconsistencies to data holders and providers whenever possible. Like all stakeholders in the market, we rely on high quality, reliable data and do all we can to contribute to its maintenance and improvement for the benefit of all.

Neighborly prepared this material for informational purposes only. We have obtained this information from multiple sources believed to be reliable as of the date of publication; Neighborly, however, makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of such third party information. Neighborly has no obligation to update, modify or amend this information or to otherwise notify a reader thereof in the event that any such information becomes outdated, inaccurate, or incomplete.

How does Neighborly do calculations?

Neighborly pages contain many calculations that we have performed, such as the average deal size for an issuer, or the ranking of a financial advisor by the number of deals that organization has participated in in a given timeframe. These calculations are made using the latest data that we have available to us. They don’t take into account changes in activity of any kind that have not yet been reported in an authorized channel, such as a U.S. Census Bureau research update or an Official Statement. Due to the complexity and time required to update certain types of data, rankings may not always reflect the latest activity. As such they should be interpreted as broad indications of an organization’s activity rather than a comprehensive measurement.

Does Neighborly provide links to documents or data on other websites?

We provide links to documents on third-party websites only in cases where these sites are the sole authorized source of that information. For instance, we provide links to pages where you can access documents such as financial disclosures on MSRB’s information portal EMMA. Before viewing these documents you are required to read and agree to EMMA’s terms of use.

I think I’ve found an inaccuracy in data I’m seeing on Neighborly. What should I do?

If you suspect inaccuracy in data we are displaying, please report it to us immediately by emailing data@neighborly.com. Please include the URL address of the page you found the error on and clearly identify the data that you believe to be inaccurate.

I’m looking for a piece of data or a comparison that I think Neighborly could help with. What should I do?

Great! We love hearing what data you’re looking for and helping you get there as easily as possible. Email data@neighborly.com and tell us about what you’re working on.

For terms of use on accessing or using this information, please read neighborly.com/terms.

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