NASDAQ New Rule: ETF Issuers Can Pay Market-Makers Quoting…

  As duly noted by industry expert TABB Forum, ETFs with little-known or illiquid underlying securities are a hard sell without liquidity.  “Whether you loved or hated them, major exchange specialists (including this blogger) played a vital role to help nurture small listings, and the problem of how to incent liquidity provision is an ongoing […] Read More

10 April, 2012

Covered Calls Vs. Selling Puts On The SPY

Courtesy of Seeking Alpha’s “Reel Ken” We often hear about selling covered calls to generate additional income. We also hear about selling Puts to generate income. So the question becomes: Which is a better strategy? The first step in answering this question is to understand that, from a performance perspective, they are two sides of […] Read More

10 April, 2012

Benziga’s Best ETFs for Passover, Easter

     This weekend brings celebrations of two of the most important religious holidays in the world: Easter and Passover. And given the way stocks have acted this week, a time that is historically bullish for equities, it might be a good thing that U.S. equity markets are closed tomorrow in observance of the Good Friday […] Read More

5 April, 2012

Mega Millions Winner’s ETF Model Portfolio

The “ETF Professor” over at Benzinga has already constructed his ETF portfolio in advance of winning the now, $640 million jackpot scheduled for drawing tonight.  The model portfolio comprises a nice mix representing energy, gold, emerging market, consumer staples, high yield bonds, blah blah blah… Here’s the verbatim extract courtesy of Benzinga On Line: Consumer […] Read More

30 March, 2012

Exotic ETFs Going Mainstream

Leveraged and inverse exchange-traded funds received a lot of scrutiny during the volatility of last year. But now that volatility is down and equities are on the rise, investors are more and more viewing these once exotic products as just another way to take positions on the direction of the markets. That was the opinion […] Read More

30 March, 2012

FINRA Investigating ETNs after Credit Suisse’s TVIX ‘Snafu’

The regulator that oversees the sale of investment products to investors is investigating how firms are marketing exchange-traded notes, a niche product that experienced a market meltdown this year. A spokeswoman for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said Thursday the regulator is “looking at the events and trading” activity surrounding a sharp plunge in the […] Read More

29 March, 2012

European Institutions Adding ETFs

  European institutional investors primarily use exchange-traded products as beta tools or to implement asset allocation strategies, with few investors seeing demand for active ETFs, according to an EDHEC-Risk Institute survey released Tuesday. About 70% of the 174 European institutional managers and private wealth managers who responded to the survey said they primarily use ETFs […] Read More

29 March, 2012

ETFs & Obamacare: The Broccoli ETF

“If Congress can force me to buy health insurance, can it also force me to eat broccoli?”… That question, according to WallachBeth Capital’s Chris Hempstead, is one that he can’t answer, but Hempstead does have a sharp-as-a-scalpel perspective re: the ETFs to put under a microscope as the US Supreme Court is scheduled to perform […] Read More

27 March, 2012

TVIX: Case Study ETNs & ETFs to be Wary…

Credit Suisse’s volatility-flavored ETN,  the VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short-Term ETN, aka “TVIX” is, for lack of a better phrase, broken.  And it ‘got broken’ in mid Feb when CS halted the creation process for this product. Observed Chris Hempstead, the head of ETF trading for WallachBeth Capital, “the halt in the creation process caused […] Read More

23 March, 2012

Markdown in MuniBond ETFs: Discount Pricing

ETF Trends’ Tom Lydon makes a poignant observation when pointing out that MUB , iShares S&P National Municipal Bond Fund ETF is continuing to trade at a discount to its NAV, which for some, is a disturbing bearish signal. While ETF “discount trading” is not necessarily unusual in and of itself, prolonged disparities (i.e. for […] Read More

20 March, 2012

Conflict-Of-Interest Charges Roil Bankers-What About Those “Step-Out” Ticket Charges?

Fast on the heels of that New York Times op-ed by a former GoldmanSachs derivatives trader, who in a public farewell tribute to the employer he had just “fired” (claiming said employer caused both the culture and very corpuscles of the firm’s ecosystem to become polluted with the toxic virus “Conflicts-of-Interest Syndrome”),  another, and potentially […] Read More

19 March, 2012

High Yield Junk Bond ETFs-Eye On Distortions

It appears that our comments re:  junk bond ETFs over the past 6 weeks has inspired main stream media, and in particular, WSJ’s Jason Zweig, to zero in on a talking point raised here last month: the logistics by which certain ETFs are ‘created’ and redeemed, and the potential distortion in prices between the underlying […] Read More

19 March, 2012

Glass Half Full of Apple (AAPL) Juice : ETF…

We took the liberty of scraping an interesting note from this a.m.’s  Notes from the WallachBeth ETF Desk : “…On to Apple: Today will sure set a new tone and a new era for Apple lovers and haters; the iPad 3 (aka iPad) has been released, praised and torn down. The company is announcing a […] Read More

19 March, 2012

Institutions Eye Options: Buy-Writes and Butterflies

Yes, the equities markets are on a roll; the bulls are boisterous, and the “buy and holders” are popping champagne corks. Given this scenario, who would even suggest the idea of a fiduciary fund manager employing option-based hedging strategies that can potentially cut into upside returns?? After all, even though major exchanges throughout the globe […] Read More

16 March, 2012

ETFs with Largest Exposure to AAPL: Should You Hedge?

Now that we’ve all forgotten the name of that former derivatives trader from Goldman who enjoyed his 15 minutes of “de-fame”, we can now all re-focus on the brand that’s causing people to line up once again for their latest product offering: Apple Inc. According to ETF Research Center, 91 ETFs have AAPL in their […] Read More

16 March, 2012

How To Hedge Market Top With ETFs.

Following is courtesy of ETF Database market analyst Stoyan Bojinov: Are we near the top or did the bull train just leave the station? Fundamental news has been bolstering equity markets higher since the start of 2012, although many investors are fearful that if they jump in now, the next market correction may very well […] Read More

15 March, 2012

Move Over Ashton Kutcher: ex-Goldman’s Greg Smith Now Most…

If you haven’t read, or at least heard about the brouhaha surrounding GoldmanSachs’ former head of equity derivatives Greg Smith and his farewell-to-the-firm soliloquy in today’s New York Times, you might be on an advance scouting mission to Mars on behalf of Newt Gingrich. Aside from this story occupying Wall Street, and the hearts and […] Read More

14 March, 2012

Top RIA’s 20 Top Twitter Feeds for Financial Advisers

Social Media + Financial Services is (so far) an oxymoron. After all, the odds are 10:1 that you’re compliance officer will call you a moron if you solicit approval to become socially-engaged in any digital venue. All of that said, the tide always turns, until of course, it comes back to you hit in the […] Read More

13 March, 2012