Posts belonging to Category Options

Front-End Bonus Payments May Need To Be Disclosed


If your broker or financial adviser told you he was moving to another brokerage firm and asked you to move your account there, would you want to know if he was being paid thousands or millions of dollars to make the move?  The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) thinks so, and is proposing a new […]

Alternative Investments – Big Problems


According to financial advisers, do not be fooled by the recent market in stocks into believing that we are in for a continuing period of sustained low volatility.  Those advisers want you to expect lots of volatility and market corrections and to invest accordingly. In light of the foregoing, investors should adopt alternative investment strategies […]

ETN Implodes


The iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures exchange-traded note (VXX), supposedly a hedge against stock market volatility, crashed last week losing over 10% of its market value. The sharp drop, which sent the VXX to an all-time low, occurred as positive economic news in the U.S. and Europe sent the S&P 500 stock index sharply […]

Alternative Investments Are No Investment Panacea


Financial advisers need to know that dangers lurk in the complex world of alternative investments and they must disclose these dangers to their clients. At present, many investment advisers are under pressure to sell alternative investments and are doing so in greater numbers than ever before. Alternative investments can include virtually any investment that is […]

High Risk Options Trading Is Being Pushed By Some Brokerage Firms


In another example of brokerage firms catering to retail investors’ worst instincts, supposedly investor-friendly firms like Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade are focusing on expanding their trading business beyond traditional investment like stocks and bonds into alternative investments like options because the commissions are so high. (“‘Easy Money’ Options Pushed by Online Brokers,” Bloomberg).

FINRA Warns Investors about Structured Products and Other Non-Conventional Securities


The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has issued an investor alert warning against chasing yield with structured products, junk bonds and floating-rate bank-loan funds. The alert was prompted by “significant recent inflows” into high-yield products. Investors may find enhanced yields attractive in the current market environment of low yields on conventional fixed-income investments and higher […]

Georgia Securities Regulators Initiate Investigation of Reverse Convertible Securities


The Georgia Securities Commissioner has launched an investigation into sales of structured products called reverse convertible notes made by broker-dealer firms to Georgia residents. The brokerage firms under investigation include UBS AG, Morgan Stanley and Ameriprise Financial. The investigations were begun after the Commissioner received complaints from investors who lost money in these purportedly safe […]

Improper Sales of ‘100% Principal Protected Notes’ Wallop UBS Again


In one of the largest dollar awards to date in a Lehman note case against UBS Financial Services Inc., a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel “walloped” UBS, ordering it to pay former Philadelphia 76ers President Pat Croce more than $2 million for losses in so-called “100% Principal Protected” Lehman notes that were sold […]

Experts Conclude that Structured Products are ‘Absurdly Destructive’


Retail investors in structured products that were sold as safe and secure investments have lost at least $113 billion, according to a report by the nonpartisan policy center Demos and The Nation Institute. “In my three decades of Wall Street experience, I have not seen any other product as absurdly destructive as retail investments linked […]

Study: Structured Products Pose Huge Risks to Investors’ Portfolios


Simply stated, senior investors (in fact, all investors) should be very leery of high-risk structured products. Author John Wasik, in conjunction with Demos and The Nation Institute, has published a white paper entitled “How Safe Are Your Savings? How Complex Derivative Products Imperil Seniors’ Retirement Security.” The paper’s focus is on structured products and how […]