SLCG Economic Consulting's Logo



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

Filter by:

Displaying 21-30 out of 51 results for "Leveraged ETF".

Why Banks Are Storing Physical Commodities, and Why it May Matter

Physical commodities -- barrels of oil, bars of gold, bushels of wheat, etc. -- are used for a variety of industrial purposes, but can also be bought and sold in financial markets. Most commodities trading involves futures contracts, as trading the physical commodity itself involves transportation and storage costs. Traditionally, banks who traded commodities were only allowed to deal in derivatives such as futures contracts, rather than dealing in the physical commodity itself.

But since the...

Persistence Scorecard: Even Harder to Stay on Top

S&P Dow Jones Indices has recently updated their semiannual Persistence Scorecard, which studies the consistency of returns for actively managed US equity mutual funds. Like the previous Persistence Scorecard from December 2012, the updated study finds little evidence that actively-managed mutual funds can outperform stated benchmarks on a consistent basis.

In fact, the results are rather worse than in the previous study. The report highlights three factors:

  • Percentage of funds in top quartile...

VelocityShares' New Volatility ETFs

You've heard it here before: hedging equity exposure with volatility derivatives is very tricky.

While the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) and the S&P 500 are negatively correlated suggesting a possible hedging opportunity, you cannot invest in the VIX itself, you have to invest in derivatives (futures or options) linked to the VIX. The simple fact is that this indirect exposure to the VIX does not behave like the VIX itself, making it in the end a rather poor hedge to equities .

But issuers of...

Structured Investments Linked to Proprietary Indices

Structured products are often linked to well known indices like the S&P 500 or the Dow Jones Industrial Average, but recently it has become more and more common for banks to issue structured investments linked to proprietary indices that they create themselves. The use of proprietary indices (also known as 'self-indexing') has begun to arouse suspicion from various sources and so we thought we'd take a step back and talk about the issue for a moment.

Structured products linked to well-known...

Foreign Exchange Rate Fixing

Bloomberg News recently reported that traders at some of the world's largest banks have been in the business of rigging foriegn exchange (FX) rates. An FX rate essentially tells you how much of one currency you can buy with another currency: for example, currently you can buy about 100 Japanese yen for each US dollar. The rates affect "trillions of dollars of investments" according to Bloomberg, since they are used for the valuation of portfolios, derivatives, and even equity and fixed...

Alternative Ways to Gain Municipal Bond Exposure

We've been covering municipal bonds, with a focus on markups, this week on the blog. So far we've discussed some basics, given an example of an excessive markup and introduced SLCG research on excessive markups in municipal bonds . Given that retail investors may be charged excessive markups when purchasing municipal bonds directly, it may make sense for them to purchase municipal bonds indirectly.

Jason Zweig has written a great follow-up to his coverage of the muni markups issue with a...

Dodging Hedge Fund Requirements: The Case of Mariner Access

Nowadays, there are several ways that retail investors can purchase risky investments which would typically be considered unsuitable. For example, many exchange-traded funds (ETFs) use derivatives to offer investors access to risky asset classes (such as CDOs) or complex options positions (such as covered calls). Since ETFs can be bought and sold like any other listed stock, essentially any investor can now take covered call positions regardless of her understanding of options. There is even...

Investors Returning to Capital-at-Risk Products

Yakob Peterseil of recently noted that "[b]anks are boosting issuance of leveraged notes linked to US equity indexes and notes that pay out when yield curves steepen." According to the article, reverse convertibles and buffered notes are seeing a resurgence as investors begin to be more optimistic about stock market growth. In addition, principal-protected structures like structured certificates of deposit and principal-protected notesare falling out of favor as attractive terms are...

Massachusetts Fines Five Brokerage Firms for Sale of Non-Traded REITs

Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts William Galvin, who has previously come out swinging on behalf of investors in both warehoused CLOs as well as leveraged and inverse ETFs, announced yesterday that the state has settled with five independent brokerage firms regarding improper sales of non-traded REITs. Non-traded REITs are pooled real estate investments that have become notorious for high fees, lack of liquidity, and numerous potential conflicts of interest, as we detail in our...

Higher Expected Returns Only Come from Higher Risk: The Case of 130/30 Strategies

JP Morgan recently released an "Investment Insight" that puts the spotlight on 130/30 strategies, which are used by several mutual funds and ETFs from a variety of issuers. A 130/30 strategy involves selling short 30% of the assets in a portfolio and using the proceeds to leverage the long securities to 130% of initial assets. The securities that are shorted are expected by the portfolio manager to depreciate during the holding period (overvalued) while the assets that are purchased are...

51 Results