CITY OF CAMBRIDGE MINIBONDS

FAQs

THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN OFFER TO SELL OR THE SOLICITATION OF AN OFFER TO BUY ANY SECURITIES. OFFERS TO PURCHASE BONDS MAY ONLY BE MADE THROUGH A REGISTERED BROKER-DEALER AND THROUGH AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT.

Have a question about Cambridge minibonds? Review the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) to find the answers.

What are municipal bonds?

A:

State and local governments sell municipal bonds to finance public capital projects. In recent years, the City of Cambridge has issued municipal bonds for upgrades to municipal and school buildings, renovation of historic open spaces and buildings, and reconstruction of streets, sidewalks, sewer systems, and transportation corridors.

What are Cambridge minibonds? How are minibonds different from regular municipal bonds?

A:

All municipal bonds previously sold by the City of Cambridge were sold in denominations of $5,000 or more. Minibonds are more affordable than traditional municipal bonds for certain potential investors, as they will be available in minimum denominations of $1,000 to investors who are Cambridge residents.

Interest on minibonds will be paid semiannually. The 2017 Cambridge minibonds will mature in five years, whereas most Cambridge municipal bonds mature after 10 or 20 years. 

What will the City use the minibond proceeds for?

A:

The City will use minibond proceeds to fund capital projects such as school building renovations, municipal facility upgrades, and implementation of our Complete Streets plan.

Has the City issued these types of bonds before?

A:

No, this is the first time Cambridge will issue minibonds. 

Who is eligible to purchase Cambridge minibonds?

A:

Cambridge residents age 18 and over can purchase minibonds in minimum denominations of $1,000.

Parents and legal guardians of individuals under age 18 can purchase minibonds as a Custodian for a Minor and hold the bonds until the minor turns 18. 

Minibonds may not necessarily be suitable for all investors and prior to completing any sale, Neighborly Securities* or another broker-dealer will determine suitability for investors in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

 City Council members, Executive and Finance staff are ineligible to purchase bonds.

*Minibonds will only be offered through Neighborly Securities, member MIA, SIPC and registered with MSRB pursuant, to a preliminary and final official statement to be made available during the offering period. This information does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to sell any securities. You will be responsible for making your own independent investigation and appraisal of the risks, benefits and suitability of any securities to be offered and neither the City of Cambridge nor Neighborly Securities is making any recommendation or giving any investment advice.

How can I buy Cambridge minibonds?

A:

Residents who are interested in buying Cambridge minibonds should create an account through Neighborly before February 17, 2017. Neighborly expects to offer residents minibonds through an online platform, which is expected to go live on or before the date of the sale (February 17, 2017 at 12 noon ET and close on February 23, 2017 at 12 noon ET).

Minibonds will ONLY be available from February 17, 2017 at 12 noon ET and close on February 23, 2017 at 12 noon ET. Neighborly recommends registering for an account well in advance of the sale. Please note that the City intends to sell no more than $2 million total principal amount of minibonds in this offering.

Who is Neighborly?

A:

Neighborly is a San Francisco based firm, and provides underwriting services through its registered broker dealer subsidiary, Neighborly Securities. Neighborly is not affiliated with the City of Cambridge in any way, other than as the broker-dealer for this sale of minibonds.

How many minibonds can I buy?

A:

Each Cambridge resident may buy up to 20 minibonds for a total possible investment of $20,000 (20 x $1,000/minibond). 

Is there a fee to buy minibonds?

A:

There is no fee to purchase Cambridge minibonds through Neighborly. Other brokers may charge their customary fees.

When will minibonds be available for purchase?

A:

The City expects to sell up to $2 million of minibonds in its first minibond sale. Minibonds will go on sale February 17, 2017 at 12 noon ET and close on February 23, 2017 at 12 noon ET.  

When will the bonds mature?

A:

February 15, 2022.

Interest will accrue and be paid semi-annually on February 15 and August 15 commencing August 15, 2017, to the maturity date of the minibonds. Principal will be paid at maturity. 

Cambridge minibonds will not be subject to redemption prior to maturity.

What is the interest rate on the bonds?

A:

The interest rate on the bonds will be 1.6%.

How can someone without a computer order minibonds?

A:

Neighborly representatives will be at Cambridge City Hall on February 15th and 21st from 6-8pm to provide assistance and discuss the minibond process. 

What happens after I submit the order?

A:

After you submit your order, Neighborly’s investment team reviews it for approval and allocation. Completing your order with Neighborly is a three-step process. If your order is approved, minibonds will then be allotted and filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Typically, bonds will be delivered 1-2 weeks after the sale date and investors are not obligated to remit funds until they receive a confirmation from their broker. 

For further information about the process please contact a Neighborly representative at support@neighborly.com, or at (866) 432-1170.

Can minibonds be transferred or sold?

A:

Minibonds may be transferred or sold to another person or entity provided they have a valid brokerage account with Neighborly or another broker-dealer. Contact Neighborly at support@neighborly.com, or at (866) 432-1170 to discuss this option because transfer fees may apply.

Can minibonds be held in a brokerage account?

A:

Yes, please contact Neighborly at support@neighborly.com, or at (866) 432-1170 to discuss this option.

Can minibonds be held in the name of a trust?

A:

Yes, please contact Neighborly at support@neighborly.com, or at (866) 432-1170 before making an investment because additional documentation may be needed. 

How do I find out more information about minibonds?

A:

Detailed information about the minibonds and the City will be included in Preliminary Official Statement being prepared by the City.  It is expected to be available on or around February 13, 2017.

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