We may change our targeted investments, investment guidelines and other operational policies without stockholder consent, which may adversely affect the market price of our common stock and our ability to make distributions to stockholders.
We may change our targeted investments and investment guidelines at any time without the consent of our stockholders, which could result in our making investments that are different from, and possibly riskier than, the investments described herein. Our Board of Directors also determines our other operational policies, including our policies with respect to our REIT qualification, acquisitions, dispositions, operations, indebtedness and distributions. Our Board of Directors may amend or revise such policies or approve transactions that deviate from them, without a vote of, or notice to, our stockholders. A change in our targeted investments, investment guidelines or other operational policies may increase our exposure to interest rate, spread, credit, prepayment, extension, liquidity and other risks, all of which could adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and ability to make distributions to our common and preferred stockholders.
Our active portfolio management strategy may expose us to significant realized gains or losses.
We employ an active management strategy to achieve our principal objective of preserving our net book value while generating attractive risk-adjusted returns. The composition of our investment portfolio will vary as we believe changes to market conditions, risks and valuations warrant. Consequently, we may experience significant investment gains or losses when we sell investments that we no longer believe provide attractive risk-adjusted returns or when we believe more attractive alternatives are available. We may be incorrect in our assessment and select an investment portfolio that could generate lower returns than a more static management strategy. Also, investors may be less able to assess the changes in our valuation and performance by observing changes in the mortgage market since we may have changed our strategy and portfolio from the last publicly available data. Our leverage and hedging levels may also fluctuate as we pursue our active management strategy.
Our strategy involves significant leverage, which increases the risk that we may incur substantial losses.
We expect our leverage to vary with market conditions and our assessment of the risks and returns on our investments. We incur leverage by borrowing against a substantial portion of the market value of our assets. While leverage is fundamental to our investment strategy, it also creates significant risks. For example, we may incur substantial losses if our borrowing costs increase or if the value of our investments declines.
Failure to procure adequate financing or to renew or replace existing financing as it matures (to which risk we are specifically exposed due to the short-term nature of the financing arrangements on our mortgage investments) could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
We use debt financing as a strategy to increase our return on equity, and because we rely primarily on short-term borrowings to finance our mortgage investments, our ability to achieve our investment objectives depends not only on our ability to borrow money in sufficient amounts and on favorable terms, but also on our ability to renew or replace our maturing short-term borrowings on a continuous basis. However, we may be unable to borrow sufficient funds to achieve our desired leverage ratio for several reasons, including the following:
our lenders do not make repurchase or other financing agreements available to us at acceptable rates and terms;
our lenders exit the market;
our lenders require additional collateral to cover our borrowings, which we may be unable to deliver; or
we determine that the leverage would expose us to excessive risk.
Additionally, our wholly-owned captive broker-dealer subsidiary's ability to access bilateral and triparty repo funding, including through the FICC's GCF Repo service, requires that it continually meet regulatory and membership requirements established by FINRA and the FICC, which could change over time, potentially resulting in BES to lose access to these funding sources.
If we are unable to renew or replace maturing borrowings, we may have to sell assets, possibly under adverse market conditions. In addition, if the regulatory capital requirements imposed on our lenders change, they may be required to significantly increase the cost of the financing that they provide to us. Our lenders also may revise their eligibility requirements for the types of assets they are willing to finance or the terms of such financings, based on, among other factors, the regulatory environment and their management of perceived risk, particularly with respect to assignee liability. Consequently, we cannot make any assurance that financing will be available to us in the future on terms that are acceptable to us. If we cannot obtain sufficient funding on acceptable terms, our investment returns, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected and there may be a negative impact on the value of our common and preferred stock and our ability to make distributions to our stockholders.