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Our experts frequently write blog posts about the findings of the research we are conducting.

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Regulation D Offerings Summary Statistics1

In installments, we are going to publish our analysis of the market for Reg D securities. This first installment reports summary statistics based on our review of all Form D reports filed with the SEC from January 1, 2009 through July 31, 2022. We present the number, dollar amount raised and other characteristics of the securities offered under Reg D in aggregate and broken out by issuer's industry and year of sale.

Future installments will (1) report summary statistics for broker-sold...

How Widespread and Predictable is Stock Broker Misconduct?

In this paper we reconcile widely diverging recent estimates of broker misconduct. Qureshi and Sokobin report that 1.3% of current and past brokers are associated with awards or settlements in excess of a threshold amount. Egan, Matvos, and Seru find that 7.8% of current and former brokers have financial misconduct disclosures including customer complaints, awards, and settlements.

You can download our research paper, "How Widespread and Predictable is Stock Broker Misconduct?".

We...

Securities-Based Lending

In this blog post I summarize my recently published working paper, "Securities-Based Lending".

Introduction

The securities industry has long targeted the liability side of the customer's balance sheet as an opportunity to cross-sell banking products, increase wallet share, and diversify revenue streams away from cyclical trading commissions. In the current euphoric market environment, with portfolio values soaring and borrowing rates historically low, lending to customers has become "Wall...

Research Roundup

For the more academically-inclined reader, here is a brief rundown of recent academic papers we have found interesting. As these are written by others, we do not necessarily agree with or stand by all of their points, so caveat emptor.

Trading Volatility: At What Cost?: The inventor of the original VIX, Robert Whaley, weighs in on volatility exchange-traded products, which he says are "virtually guaranteed to lose money through time." See also our papers on the subject.

Lapse-Based Insurance:...

SLCG Research: Structured Product Indexes

Most research on structured products focuses on what is known as initial date mispricing -- the difference between what a product costs and how much it is worth, as of the issue date. If you look at any of our structured product reports (let's take this reverse convertible, for example), you can see that the product was issued at a price of $1,000, but that the present value of its resulting cashflows only comes out to $960.40. The difference, $39.60 or 3.96%, represents an expected loss to...

SLCG Research: Priority Senior Secured Income Fund

In our experience, retail investors are being sold increasingly obscure and non-conventional investments. An investment that raised our eyebrows recently is the Priority Senior Secured Income (PSSI) Fund. The PSSI Fund is the first regulated investment company that invests primarily in leveraged loans and collateralized loan obligation (CLO) tranches lower in their capital structures.

Unlike the mutual funds with which most retail investors are familiar, PSSI Fund investors are not able to...

SLCG Research: Structured Product Based Variable Annuities

In 2010, AXA Equitable began issuing a new kind of variable annuity that, in addition to traditional mutual fund-like subaccounts, also included an option for a structured product-like crediting formula linked to an underlying index such as the S&P 500. Our firm had done a lot of work on both structured products and variable annuities, so in late 2011 we started analyzing the structured product embedded in AXA's product, eventually writing a short research paper on the subject which we...

SLCG Research: Structured Certificates of Deposit

Lately, we've been fascinated by structured certificates of deposit (CDs), also known as 'market-linked CDs', 'equity-linked CDs', 'market contingent CDs', etc. Structured CDs are bank deposits that have interest payments linked to market indexes, individual stocks, commodities, or any other underlying asset. Unlike structured products, which have public SEC disclosure documents, structured CDs are not well studied and even the size of the market is not perfectly clear. We covered the basics...

Welcome to Muni Markup Week on the SLCG Blog

Today SLCG posted a new working paper titled "Using EMMA to Assess Municipal Bond Markups". In it, our colleagues Geng Deng and Craig McCann report a veritable pandemic of excessive markups charged to retail investors in the municipal bond market. This work has been highlighted in a recent Wall Street Journal article by Jason Zweig. Jason's looked at markups generically in the past and we're happy this story has caught his attention.

The primary findings of the paper are that:

  • Municipal bond...

Update on Apple-Linked Structured Products

A few months ago, SLCG issued a working paper that studied the decline in value of Apple-linked structured products. Jason Zweig of the Wall Street Journal also wrote a piece about these findings, most notably that Apple's stock price decline had serious repercussions in the structured product market. Apple's stock price has continued to fall and we recently updated the paper to show how this decline is still affecting investors in structured products.*

Since reaching $700 in September of...

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