From the category archives:


Does Switching Wall Street Compensation to Stock Really Decrease Risk-Taking?

With all the public ire over Wall Street compensation and the public inquiry occurring this week demanding the heads of the major Wall Street banks testify (oddly, they’re grilling the heads of firms that survived rather than the ones that failed), one key theme has been Wall Street compensation. Politicians are grilling executives over compensation […]

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Dogs of the Dow Stock Trade is Dead – Don’t Fall for the Hype

I hate to break it to you but the Dogs of the Dow trade is dead.  It’s that time of year where you’re going to hear all kinds of archaic trading strategies like the January effect and the Dogs of the Dow that worked decades back but no longer deliver any additional alpha and instead […]

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Since When Does “Clipping Coupons” Mean You’re Poor?

In today’s economic environment, more and more people seem to be using – or at least talking about – coupons.  While we’ve used them for years (I dutifully pull them out of the weekly circular in our newspaper and store them in a designated spot for the next shopping trip), apparently, now people are “admitting […]

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Should the US Adopt a “Bonus Tax” Like Europe is Enacting?

I was rather dismayed but not surprised when I saw the news that the United Kingdom was enacting a “bonus tax” which is to be a one-time tax on bonuses of bankers in excess of $40,000.  As the circus spread its influence, France signaled that it will enact a similar policy and Germany’s chancellor referred […]

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Will the ETF be Viewed as Another Financial Innovation Disaster?

Financial Innovation is usually both a blessing and a curse.  In the vast majority of circumstances, an idea borne of market efficiency, lower risk, lower costs and more utility to investors ends up in complete disaster.  Consider the following example. Recent Financial Innovation Example – Derivatives and Securitized Debt What started off as a great […]

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New Margin Requirements for Leveraged ETFs Whack Retail Investors but Don’t Address Ignorance

Did anyone notice a margin call in your account this week when you had a few thousand dollars in cash cushioning your portfolio the week prior?  I did.  I’ve had a proprietary trade on for some time now which employs leveraged ETFs overlayed with some other instruments for a market neutral play that’s been working […]

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Do You Invest in Companies You Find to be Morally Repugnant?

[picappgallerysingle id=”5157972″] Last week, I knew I had to fess up and admit I bought a newly launched Gold Juniors ETF which I was rather conflicted about, but too alluring to ignore based on my assessment.  While I don’t think gold’s lofty prices are supported by fundamentals and I’ve trashed its prospects compared to other […]

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Advanta 11% Yield Investment Notes – Going, Going, Gone!

Advanta had been plastering their ads for high yield investment notes paying as high as 11% throughout my local paper and elsewhere for the past several months and I’d decided to investigate a bit further.  Given the low interest rate environment we’re in and my presumption that any company offering such a premium over market […]

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The Truth About Rewards Credit Cards – But, Is it Really True?

There was an interesting article going around the Personal Finance circles yesterday about this ABCNews segment entitled “The Truth About Credit Card Reward Programs” and it concluded that people that utilize credit card rewards programs are irresponsible with their cards via the following statement verbatim (I bolded): “First, studies have shown that credit card users […]

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