Laddering – Definition

Cite this article as:"Laddering – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated July 31, 2019, last accessed October 26, 2020,


Laddering Definition

Laddering refers to promoting inflated pre-IPO prices in order to obtain a greater offering allotment. Laddering is an illicit IPO practice where the underwriter sells IPO shares to clients with an implicit agreement that more shares would be purchased post IPO, resulting in huge profits for both parties. Once the price rises to a certain level, “insiders” would sell their shares and take profits.

A Little More on What is Laddering

An underwriter would hike and IPO’s issue price through promotion, in a bid to please the issuer and also secure a greater allotment. By consenting to allocate more shares to choice clients, both the clients and underwriters can profit greatly on the IPO shares, while the firm which offers shares in the IPO are content with the underwriter for creating an increase in market value.

Laddering is also the term of an investment strategy which involves buying many financial products with various maturity dates.

Laddering can be utilized for freeing up capital. For instance, an individual may buy a shorter term bond in a situation where he needs the capital quickly to fund his children’s tuition. An individual may buy longer-term bonds as a retirement investment, with a better rate, supposing the economy is undergoing a normal yield curve during this period.

Laddering can also be the base for an entire retirement planning approach for every retirement investment. The concept’s basic point is to separate cash, CDs, annuities, bonds, and others into different “ladders” or “baskets” or “buckets,” depending on when the asset is anticipated to be liquidated to pay for the retirement revenue stream. Low-risk assets are utilized at the beginning of retirement (and generally have an expected lower return rate, as a result of lacking a risk premium). Higher-risk assets will be put in a basket utilized at the end of the retirement.

Laddering can be helpful to an investor in creating a well-diversified portfolio and also achieve various goals. For example, it can reduce interest rate risk by holding short-term, as well as, long-term bonds. If rates are increasing, as a bond matures, the funds can then be re-invested Inyo bonds with a higher yield. Practicing laddering can help an investor manage the risk of re-investment risk because as a bond in the ladder matures, the money is re-invested, but this represents only a part of the complete portfolio. Even if predominant rates during re-investment are lesser than the previous bond was returning, the lesser amount of re-investment dollars reduces the risk of investing plenty of money at a low return. Laddering also helps in maintaining constant cash flows to encourage frequent saving for investors in need of an income-generating portfolio.

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