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A product only a banker could love

May 25, 2010

There's a lot of excitement about just-launched startup Betterment, but I'm very wary. At best, it's an example of "bad" financial innovation. At worst, it's a straight up scam. It goes to show that it doesn't take complexity and structured products to pull the wool over investors' eyes; all you need is a website and […]

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More derivative witch hunts

November 17, 2009

Going through the FT's original post on exchange traded currency notes, I saw a couple of sentences that really bothered me. One thing we do not need right now are witch hunt statements without basis (a point especially compounded by the fact that the FT completely misunderstood how these products worked, even as they wrote […]

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Only in America

September 3, 2009

The law firms of Pearson, Simon, Warshaw & Penny, LLP and Tydings & Rosenberg, LLP have just announced a class-action lawsuit against ProShares Trust on behalf of everyone who has ever owned shares of SKF, the double-short financials leveraged ETF. Key quote from the press release: For example, in a six week period from September […]

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How to lose your money without really trying

April 27, 2009

An author describes a lose-lose strategy.

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The math (and myths) of leveraged ETFs

April 20, 2009

Leveraged ETFs are vehicles which provide non-recourse leverage on various sectors or strategies. For example, every day the double-inverse financials SKF returns roughly -2 times the daily return of the DJ Financials index. These products are a favorite of mine not simply in a speculative framework, but in a quantitative one. Many people make the […]

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