Questions & Answers

The Company

What is Secured Income Group (SIG)?

Secured Income Group (SIG), is a private real estate lender licensed by the California Department of Real Estate.  SIG was founded 22 years ago in 1996, and we’ve been headquartered in Tustin for last 16 years. SIG is also a member of the AAPL, (American Association of Private Lenders).

What is a Private real estate Lender?

Private real estate lenders come in all shapes and sizes. Traditionally, the private loan industry is funded by high net worth/accredited investors who pool their money to form a lending entity, or also may invest directly in individual real estate notes. Private lenders fill the needs not met by banks or savings and loans, and generally as an industry they service professional real estate investors vs. homeowners.

‘Anchor loans’ in Santa Monica has raised over $1 billion from individual investors for private real estate lending, and ‘Loan Oak Fund’ is California’s largest private lender, with over $2 billion raised from individual investors.

How long has SIG been offering SecureRate Investment?

We’ve been offering our SecureRate Term Investments since 1996. We have many investors who have been with us for 5,10, and over 20 years.

Has anyone ever lost any money with SIG?

No, none of our investors have ever lost money with SIG, and SIG has never missed a payment in its 22-year history.  We’ve always been profitable, and have considerable retained earnings of over $2mm.  The safe, conservative underwriting matrix we’ve developed over 22 years has performed exceptionally well in both good and bad markets.

Our founder has over $1.5m of his own money invested, along with several million more from his immediate family members.

How is my money secured?

Our Offering is a “Secured” Offering, as opposed to “Unsecured”, which means each investor’s funds are assigned a pro-rata share of every individual real estate loan that is originated by SIG. This offers an extra level of protection and security for every investor in SIG.

How does SIG make its money?

SIG makes its money the same way banks do.  All banks operate on a “spread,”by taking in deposits and a lower rate and lending out those funds at higher rate.  The underlying real estate serves as collateral for a bank’s loans.

SIG operates under precisely the same model. We raise money through our Secure Rate Offering, and make a ‘spread’ by lending on real estate to credit worthy properties at higher rates.

All funds raised are secured by 1st trust deeds, to a maximum 65% LTV (Loan-to-Value).

What does SIG charge for its loans?

Generally, we charge 3%-4% as an origination charge on each loan, and our note rates range from 9%-11%.  We also have small fees on each loan for processing and underwriting. All of our loans are short-term for one year or less, which keeps our total portfolio yield close to the same yield on each individual note.  Accordingly, our total net yield ranges from 14%-16% on our portfolio.

All our loans are 1st trust deeds only, short-term, to a maximum 65% LTV (Loan-to-Value).

Why do professional real estate investors pay so much for SIG’s loans?

The rates and fees we charge are industry standard, and haven’t fluctuated meaningfully in 22 years.  Generally, professional real estate investors will pay more for private real estate loans since we’re able to fund in a matter of days vs. months for banks, and we’re able to lend on properties that traditional banks are unable to fund.

What types of loans does SIG originate?

SIG has three primary types of financial products; (1) fix and flip loans, (2) single lot construction loans, and (3) income-producing property loans.

SIG only lends to professional real estate investors, never homeowners, and only on single-family residential properties.  All our loans are 1s trust deeds, short term, and up to a maximum 65% LTV (Loan-to-Value).

Is SIG a “hard-money” lender?

Yes and no. For most people, the word “hard-money” connotes a homeowner who is under duress.  From that vantage point, SIG’s loans are just the opposite.  Firstly, all of our loans are made only to professional real estate investors, not homeowners. Secondly, our loans are never made under duress, and in fact, they’re what we label “positive equity creation” events. When we originate a fix and flip loan, for example, everyone wins – our borrower is able to close quickly on a fixer house, SIG collects fees and interest, the neighbors are happy that an eyesore will become the nicest house on the block, and the final buyers of the house will have a beautiful new house to call home.

The only element of “hard-money” that maybe applicable to SIG and our loans are the higher fees vs. a typical loan, but again these are standard for the private real estate loan industry.

Your Offering mentions the word “Debenture,” what is that?

‘Debenture’ is another word for debt. In the same way a bank raises money for lending through savings accounts and CD’s, SIG is able to meet its loan requests by raising fund through its SecureRate Offering.  SIG uses those funds to make loans, and all funds are secured by 1st trust deed mortgages on real estate, up to a maximum 65% LTV (Loan-to-Value).

How large is SIG’s portfolio?

We currently service a loan portfolio of over $70,000,000.  However, that comprises only to 185-200 loans.  We are relatively small in comparison to some of our competitors.

‘Anchor Loans’ in Santa Monica has raised over $1 billion from individual investors for private real estate lending, and ‘Loan Oak Fund’ is California’s largest private lender with over $2 billion raised from individual investors. There are many other firms in Southern California with $200mm-$300mm under management.

How does SIG market its loans to potential new borrowers?

Currently, over 70% of our client base consists of repeat customers. Throughout our operating history, we’ve generally been unable to market our loan products on a larger scale for the simple reason we don’t have enough funds to lend. This is a constraint shared by many private real estate lenders who operate in a market as large as Southern California, with over 14 million households.

What are the risks?

Please see risk factors in the Offering. The primary risk is the same one shared by any local bank – namely, how strong is any bank’s portfolio of loans?  When you invest in a CD, are you aware of the types of loans your bank does, or how much typical equity is required by the bank from one of its borrowers?

At SIG, our portfolio is stronger than 90% of local banks, and the driving force behind every underwriting decision is the necessity of a large equity cushion to protect our loan investment.  This principal, in fact, is the basis for the entire private loan industry as a whole. A large amount of equity is standard and required.  By requiring a minimum of 35% equity on every loan we do, our portfolio becomes like a fortress and bedrock strong. Our delinquency rate on our portfolio has averaged less than one half of one percent (0.5%) since our inception.

Why hasn’t SIG advertised its Offering in the past?

Firms like SIG we’re restricted from advertising their Offering online, until the Federal Jobs Act passed into law in 2012.  SIG launched a web site in late 2016, and began offering accounts to outside investors for the first time beginning in August 2017. Before 2012, our fund-raising was limited almost entirely to family and friends.

Is SIG’s offering filed with the SEC?

Yes, we have filed our ______ as a registered with the SEC, and our compliant with all State and Federal filings, and disclosures with the SEC.

Why haven’t I heard about SIG or private lending as an investment before?

Though there are literally hundreds of private real estate lenders in the U.S., as an asset class its very small, with only around $20 billion in annual loan originations. This is tiny compared to the stock and bond markets, which represent asset classes not in the hundreds of billions, but in fact trillions.  With such a relative small amount, ($20 billion), private lending as an investment class is not seen in the mainstream general media like stocks or bonds. However, many private firms like SIG have been around for generations, serving high net worth individuals and accredited investors.  Every large city in the U.S. has private real estate lenders that service that local market, and there will always be a demand for private real estate capital that local banks cannot satisfy.

Can I use my IRA to invest?

Yes, over 25% of our investors use their IRA to invest, usually through an independent IRA custodian. Please contact Stacy Porter, our Investor Relations manager, for more details. You may also use your company sponsored 401k in most cases, provided you are no longer employed at that company, by rolling your 401k into a IRA.

Does SIG have references I can request?

Yes, we have an extensive list of high net worth individuals who have been investing with us for 5,10 and over 20 years.  Many of them are CEO’s, business founders, or professional investors with extensive real estate holdings and experience.

How would you describe the value SIG brings to my portfolio, if I consider it as real estate investment?

SIG is a professional credit & property loan underwriter, which is the true value we deliver to our clients.  A lot of experience, gained over 22 years and 1,000’s of closed loans, has resulted in a credit matrix that has been refined and proven in both good and bad markets.

We’ve also done something innovative and new for our industry. We’ve created the Secure Rate Term investment, which allows accredited investors’ exposure to the yields available in private real estate lending, with the liquidity and ease of management of a CD style investment.

Can I meet Stacy Porter or any other member of the management team?

Yes, any member of our team is available for a meeting. Our headquarters have been in Tustin, CA, for the last 16 years, and our office hours are 9-5, Mon thru Friday. Stacy Porter, our Investor Relations manager, may also be available on Saturdays upon request.

My Account

How do I create my account and how long does it take?

The account setup is simple and will only take 5-10 minutes to complete. You may vest your account in your personal name or jointly, and/or also under a corp, LLC, or trust. Once the account is created online, it will just need to be funded to begin earning interest.

If you choose to invest with your IRA, the process may take longer if you are not already setup with an independent IRA custodian. Please contact Stacy Porter, our Investor Relations manager, for more details about investing with your IRA or 401k.

Can I open an account with my IRA?

Yes, though you may need to open an account with an Independent IRA custodian. As a courtesy, we’ve listed the five largest independent custodians here, each with over $3 billion in assets.  By opening with an independent IRA custodian, you won’t need to close your current IRA account, but only transfer the funds needed for a SecureRate investment to your new custodian.

We’ve assisted many IRA holders with the paperwork and setup necessary, as we’ve worked with all the major IRA custodians.  We can do most of the legwork for you.  Please reach out to Stacy Porter, our Investor Relations Manager, to start the process.

Can I open an account with my 401k?

Yes, in most cases, provided you are no longer working for the company who sponsored your 401k. We have many clients who have rolled over an old 401k from a previous employer into a new IRA, which allowed them to make a SecureRate Investment.

Can I name a beneficiary on my account?

Yes, there is a beneficiary form available when you setup your account.

When I open my account, how does it get funded?

For security purposes, we do not provide our wiring information online. Our CFO, Sabrina Rosetti, or a member of her team will contact each new account holder by phone to confirm funding instructions.  Funds may be sent by wire or by check, or dropped off at our corporate headquarters in Tustin, CA.  If a wire is requested, instructions will only be sent by encrypted email, and someone from our office must verbally confirm instructions before they are initiated.

How do you pay interest?

All interest is paid quarterly, on the last day of each quarter – March 31st, June 30th, September 30, and December 31st.   Since most investments are made in the middle of a quarter, the interest will be calculated from the day good funds cleared our account to the end of the quarter.  Otherwise, all quarterly payments will be distributed in the same amount based on the interest rate chosen, until maturity.

When does interest start accruing?

You will begin earning interest on your Secure Rate Investment the day good funds clear our account. You will receive an email confirmation once funds are cleared, whether by checks or wire. Please allow 3-5 days for local checks to clear. For wires, interest will begin the following day upon receipt.

Is my interest rate fixed during the term of my investment? Are they are any other charges your not telling me about?

Yes, your interest rate is fixed for the entire term of your investment and will not fluctuate. There are no fees or charges assessed before, during, or after your investment matures. You will receive the full amount of interest for the entire term of your investment.

What can I manage with my online account?

Upon funding of your account, virtually everything will be at your fingertips in a secure platform – including preferences for dividend re-investment, rollover instructions, and adding to your existing investment.  You’ll also have a history of your interest distributions, as well as current account balances and annual income, and much more.

Can I choose to reinvest my quarterly dividends instead of having them distributed?

Yes. By doing so, your principal investment will increase along with your quarterly interest payment.  After each successive quarter, your account will show a new principal balance and higher quarterly interest payment.

If I choose to reinvest my dividends, will I get a 1099 at the end of the year?

Yes, you will receive a 1099 at the end of each year which will include all dividends, either distributed or re-invested. The only exception would be if your account were vested in an IRA or other retirement vehicle.

Can I invest in more than one Secure Rate term through my account?

Yes, you can invest in as many different term lengths in a single account as you prefer, though most of our investors generally choose one.  However, many of our investors have multiple accounts under different vestings – a trust and an IRA, for example.

If I have two SeucreRate investments in my account (each with different term lengths) can I choose to have one of them pay out quarterly interest payments, and the other to re-invest its quarterly dividend? What if I change my mind on one of them, or both?

Yes, you can have two different SecureRate Term investments in your account, and each one can have different instructions for quarterly interest payments. If you change your mind on either one, you may change your distribution instructions online at any time. There is no penalty or charge for changing your interest instructions on a term investment.

Can I add to my investment?

Yes, you may add to an existing SecureRate investment at any time. Interest will begin on your new principal addition once good funds clear our account, and going forward your quarterly interest payment will increase to reflect your additional investment.

What happens when my investment matures?

Your interest will accrue from the end of the your last regularly scheduled quarterly payment up until to the day of your maturity date.  Before your maturity date, you may manage your preferences online.  You may choose to rollover a portion of your investment, redeem the entire amount, or rollover the entire amount into the same term as before or into a completely different term. Over 95% of our investors roll over the entire principal amount of their investment into a new term.

If I choose to rollover my investment, will the current rates apply?

Yes, the current rates will apply for any rollover, though our rates haven’t changed materially in 22 years.  If they adjust at all, its normally once every few years and not meaningfully in either direction.

What if I have to redeem some or all of my investment before the maturity?

There is a no charge for an early withdrawal. Please allow 3-5 days for processing a partial or full redemption request.

Are there any hidden fees or charges I have to pay when I first invest, or when my investment matures?

No, there are no hidden fees or charges with our SecureRate Term Investments. You earn the entire amount of interest, with no other charges, on every SecureRate Investment.

Who should I call or email if I have any more questions?

Please call Stacy Porter, our Investor Relations Manager, at (714) 874-8010 or email at sporter@securedincomegroup.com.