So you’re considering investing in your community? That’s exciting. We’re here to help.

Are you completely new to municipal bonds? We’d also recommend checking out our Municipal Bonds 101 before you get started.

How to find out about new investment opportunities

You’ll typically hear about new investments on Neighborly via notifications in the app and email, through our newsletters and social media posts. Some investments may only be visible to you if you live in a particular state or city. For example, some of our issuer partners may only be seeking investments from individuals who live in the community.

We have already announced five cities we’re working with in 2017 and will be announcing more in coming months. If you live in one of these cities, sign up today to be among the first to invest. Is your city planning a new bond-funded project you’d like to invest in via Neighborly? Contact us.

Understanding an investment opportunity

When an investment opportunity is available, you’ll find all the information about it on the issuance page. For example, check out University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s 2016 Revenue Bonds or California Public Works Board’s Refunding Bonds.

On the Project Details tab, you can read about the projects the issuance will fund, what the source of repayment is and information on the organization behind the issuance.

On the Investment Options tab, you can choose how long you’d like to invest and how much you’d like to invest at each time period. When you’re ready to invest, click the Invest button. Remember that every investment opportunity has risks as well as potential returns. Learn more about the risks of investing.

If this is your first investment and you have not signed up for Neighborly, your next step will be to open an account (See “How to open an account” below). If you previously signed up for Neighborly but have not yet created an investment account, we’ll take you through a series of questions to get that done.

On the Documents tab, you’ll find offering documents related to the issuance. These documents are the most complete source of information on any issuance and you should always review them before making an investment decision. If the issuance was completed in the past, this tab may also include ongoing disclosures that the issuer has made to investors, such as annual budgets. Learn more about disclosures.

On the FAQ tab, you’ll find Frequently Asked Questions specific to this issuance. Many issuances have unique terms and conditions, such as the qualifications for investing or the priority given to certain orders.

How to open an account

In order to make an investment, you need to open a brokerage account with Neighborly Securities, our wholly-owned broker dealer.

Just like opening a brokerage account to buy stocks, this process will take 5-10 minutes. We are required by law to ask questions about your investment objectives and financial profile to ensure that the investments you are interested in match your objectives and situation. In the financial services industry the process of matching investments to investors’ circumstances is called “suitability.” Learn more about how suitability works.

In order to earn and keep your trust, we do our best to make the account opening process as transparent as possible. You should always understand why you are being asked for certain information and how your responses will affect your investment options. Help us to serve you better by emailing the Neighborly support team when you have questions. Read the Investing section of our FAQ.

Checking out

After you’ve completed the account opening process, you’re ready to finalize your order and submit it.

Just like most checkout processes, you’ll have an opportunity to review your order and edit it if you need to. Please note, once your order has been placed you may not be able to edit.

From order to fulfillment to delivery

After your order has been placed, you’ll receive an email confirmation.

Completing your order is a three-step process: approval, fulfillment and delivery. In most cases you will not need to do anything for your order to be delivered. Read more about these steps.

The timing of this process will depend on the issuance. Typically the final date in the investment process is the “settlement date”, the expected date by which the delivery of bonds to investors will be completed. You can find the settlement date on any issuance page.

You can check on the status of your order any time from your dashboard. Just log into Neighborly and click on Dashboard.

You’re a community investor!

Once your order has been delivered, you can congratulate yourself on making your first community investment. Yay! Thank you for helping to build the future of your community. You can keep track of your investment and upcoming interest payments on your Neighborly dashboard. You’ll also get notifications whenever the issuer of your investment files new disclosures. You should also notify us if your situation changes so we can continue to show you opportunities that best match your interests and circumstances.