First begin by reading our sections describing PPNs in the PPN Overview and the FAQ section on Characteristics of PPNs.
Second, identify the specific investment theme exposure that you desire the PPN to achieve (for example, the S&P/TSX 60 Index, Gold Bullion, Currencies or a basket of common shares).
Third, visit the various issuer websites (address links are provided at the end of the PPN Overview section) and search for existing issues with the exposure to the desired investment theme. These will provide a historical performance for PPNs within the same theme. Comparing PPNs in the same area of investment theme is not perfect because the individual structures may be different and they may have differing features (participation rates, weightings, Caps, etc.).
Fourth, once you are satisfied that the PPN investment type is appropriate, identify a few existing issues and possibly a few PPNs currently being created and marketed. Then it is simply a matter of reading and comparing the characteristics and features of each structure until you are knowledgeable and comfortable with making a choice.