Intangible benefits are any type of advantages or benefits that are derived from an investment but not of a nature that can be measured in terms of monetary profit, or touch. Typically, benefits of this type are considered additional or extra perks that add to the overall value of making the investment. Since an intangible benefit is somewhat subjective in nature, the range and scope of these types of advantages will vary from one individual to another.
One of the easiest ways to understand the concept of an intangible benefit is to consider the investment that an individual makes in accepting a specific employment position. The position will provide a number of tangible benefits that can easily be touched and felt, such as a paycheck, the ability to participate in a group insurance plan, and the accrual of vacation days. At the same time, the employee may also enjoy intangible benefits that include the development of positive relationships with other employees, the opportunity to make use of the gifts and talents of the individual, and the benefit of being generally happy with the work and the working environment.
Investors can also receive intangible benefits from choosing to buy and sell certain types of securities and options. For example, an investor who is environmentally conscious may derive a great deal of personal or intangible benefit from investing in a solar energy company or a goods producer who uses organic methods to grow food used in the products. In like manner, an investor who chooses to invest in a municipal bond issue may receive intangible benefits related to the ability to enjoy strolls through the municipal park or use of the recreation center that is constructed using proceeds from that bond. Even an investment that ultimately allows an investor to save time can rightly be said to provide some intangible benefit along with the tangible benefits.
The ability to enjoy an intangible benefit along with any actual monetary rewards associated with a given investment of labor, time, or resources helps to increase the overall value to the investor. Should an investor purchase stock options that appreciate in value and generate a consistent return, this tangible benefit makes the deal very attractive. When coupled with the fact that the company issuing those shares of stock supports causes that the investor also supports, or in some way improves the community in which the investor lives, the addition of those intangible benefits makes the deal all the more inviting.