Structured products are designed to facilitate highly customized risk-return objectives. This is accomplished by taking a traditional security, such as a conventional investment-grade bond, and replacing the usual payment features (e.g. periodic coupons and final principal) with non-traditional payoffs derived not from the issuer's own cash flow, but from the performance of one or more underlying assets.
Structured products can bring many of the benefits of derivatives to investors who otherwise would not have access to them. As a complement to more traditional investment vehicles, structured products have a useful role to play in modern portfolio management.