Archive for Category: "General"


Gold Investor’s Beware

The price of gold that recently touched an all-time high and might be considered a “bubble” as evidenced by aggressive marketing and advertising of gold investments on television, radio, and on every street corner where there is a pawn shop or jewlery “store.”  The Internet is loaded with numerous websites, blog posts, investment newsletters and social media posts devoted to the topic of investing in gold. But some of the securities and “investing” opportunities being promoted have little value or interest in the precious metal, [&hellip

Continue Reading →

Principal Protected Investments

FINRA recently issued an Investor Alert providing guidance and information for investors on the popular investment product called structured notes with principal protection.  The term “structured note with principal protection” refers to any structured product that combines a bond with a derivative component—and that offers a full or partial return of principal at maturity. Structured notes come by different names and often refer to promises of “principal protection,” “capital guarantee,” “absolute return,” “minimum return” or similar terms.  THEY ARE NOT [&hellip

Continue Reading →

Muni Bond Checklist

Municipal securities—often called “muni bonds”—are bonds issued by states, cities, counties and other governmental entities to raise money to build roads, schools and a host of other projects for the public good.  Munis are relatively conservative investments but they do carry risk.  Investors should be aware that: 1.      There is a risk of defaults. 2.      A muni’s value may change for reasons having nothing to do with the financial condition of the issuer, such as a change in interest rates. [&hellip

Continue Reading →

The Risks of Inverse and Leveraged ETFs

Exchange-Traded Funds (“ETFs”) are a relatively new investment product that may be an appropriate investment depending on an investor’s investment experience, objectives, risk tolerance, and investment time horizon. A new breed of ETFs have appeared in the market place, inverse and leveraged ETFs, that pose significant risks to investors. FINRA and the SEC have issued news releases warning investors and financial advisors about the unique risks and strategies attributable to inverse and leveraged ETFs. Below are excerpts from FINRA’s Investor [&hellip

Continue Reading →

Auction Rate Securities

Auction rate securities are fixed-income debt instruments for which the interest rate is regularly reset through an auction process. Auction rate securities were marketed as liquid, safe, and cash equivalent investments.  However, many broker-dealer firms failed to disclose that the liquidity was entirely dependent upon the success of the auction process. Auctions were once held every 7 to 35 days by the brokerage firms that dealt in auction rate securities, but because of the deteriorating mortgage lending crisis and its [&hellip

Continue Reading →

What is your risk tolerance?

in General

Risk Tolerance – Are you risk adverse? Risk tolerance is the degree of uncertainty that an investor can handle in regard to a negative change in the value of an investment. Risk of loss of principal is the primary risk concern for investors but there are other risks to be considered such inflation risk, interest rate risk, credit default risk, liquidity risk and others that influence an investor’s assessment of an investment. Most investors think of risk in terms of [&hellip

Continue Reading →

Recouping Investment Losses

Investors can lose money as direct result of unethical and wrongful conduct of their financial advisors who abuse the trust and confidence of their clients

Continue Reading →

Does Financial Regulation Equal Greater Investor Protection?

in General

The Dodd-Frank financial overhaul legislation was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President. What impact does it have for individual retail investors? The consensus among the experts is that it has no immediate benefit for retail investors but could result in significant changes down the road. Office of the Investor Advocate and the Investor Advisory Committee For example, the law establishes the Office of the Investor Advocate and the Investor Advisory Committee within the Securities and Exchange [&hellip

Continue Reading →

Bonds or Bond Funds

in General

A common misunderstanding about investing in bonds or bond mutual funds is that there is no risk to principal. This is not the case. Interest rates are currently at historically low levels. If interest rates rise, bond prices would fall, and so too could the net asset values of some bond mutual funds. Returns can also decline if investors choose to move their money elsewhere and force fund managers to sell the bond holdings at a loss to pay redemptions. [&hellip

Continue Reading →