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Wall Street Potholes

Book Description

Recognize Wall Street tactics for what they are, and make smarter decisions with your money

Wall Street Potholes shares insights into the money management industry, revealing the shady practices that benefit the salesman far more than the client. Bestselling author Simon Lack brings together a team of experienced money managers to give you straight-from-the-source intel, and teach you how to recognize bad advice and when it's better to just walk away. Investors are rightly suspicious that many products are sold more because of the fees they generate than their appropriateness to the client's situation, and that's only the beginning. This book lays it all bare so you can walk into your next deal with your eyes wide open. You'll learn just how big the profit margin is on different products, and why Wall Street intentionally makes things as complicated as possible. You'll learn expert tactics for combatting these practices, so you can avoid buying overpriced products and confidently discriminate against advisors who put their own interests first.

For all the volumes of investment advice on the market, dissatisfaction with the financial services industry has never been higher. This book describes the reason for that disconnect, and tells you how to see through the smoke and mirrors to make the best decisions for your money.

  • Discover the profit margin built into some popular products
  • Learn the reason behind bundling and why Wall Street fears comparison shopping
  • Consider the importance of benchmarking, and why so many firms avoid it
  • Become better informed so you can easily recognize poor investment advice

If asking questions of your financial advisor only nets more confusion, if you want to have more control over your money, you need a firm grasp of how these firms manipulate your trust. Wall Street Potholes tells you what you need to know to become a smarter investor.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright
  3. Dedication
  4. Preface
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. Chapter 1: Non-traded REITs: A Security That Shouldn't Exist
    1. Poor Advice
    2. Why Not Get a Listing?
    3. Disingenuous Advice
    4. Whose Side Is Your Financial Advisor On?
    5. Where Are the Regulators?
    6. Overall Returns Are Poor
    7. The Importance of Benchmarking
    8. Puts and Calls
    9. Financial Advisors Need to Do Better
  7. Chapter 2: Why Investors Pay Too Much for Yield
    1. The Mysteries of Closed-End Funds
    2. Investors Can Overpay to Simplify Their Taxes
    3. The HFT Tax
    4. When Managers Run a Company for Themselves
    5. The Ham Sandwich Test
    6. If the Prospectus Says You'll Be Ripped Off, It Must Be Legal
    7. Timing Is Everything
  8. Chapter 3: Why Structured Notes Are Rarely the Best Choice
    1. Caveat Emptor!
    2. Structured Note Basics
    3. Why Buy Structured Notes?
    4. The Heart of the Matter: The Arguments Against
  9. Chapter 4: Update to The Hedge Fund Mirage
    1. Hedge Funds Remain a Great Business
    2. Industry Reaction to the Dismal Truth
    3. Why Hedge Funds Are Still Growing
    4. Some Accounting Rules Are Dumb
    5. Politics Drives Asset Flows
    6. Too Much Capital
    7. For Once, the Retail Investor Wasn't Duped
  10. Chapter 5: Why Is Wall Street So Inefficient?
    1. Why Is Finance So Expensive?
    2. Trading Doesn't Build a Secure Retirement
    3. Invest Time before Money
    4. Sex and Investing
    5. Complexity Sells
    6. The Hidden Costs of Municipal Bonds
    7. Some Bankers Just Don't Think
  11. Chapter 6: The Un-Portfolio and Better Portfolio Management Techniques
    1. Background
    2. Un-Portfolios and Diversification
    3. Fees and the Black-Box Models
    4. Other Examples of Un-Portfolios
    5. Exchange-Traded Funds
    6. Mutual Funds and Fees
    7. Load Funds
    8. Fiduciary Duty
    9. Portfolio Management Basics
    10. Summary and Conclusion
    11. Bonus Section
  12. Chapter 7: Annuities
    1. Introduction
    2. What Is an Annuity?
    3. What Are the Different Types of Annuities?
    4. Variable Annuities
    5. Associated Risks
    6. Other Risks Are Lack of Flexibility
    7. Variable Annuity Riders
    8. Illiquidity, or the Lack of Being Able to Get to Your Money
    9. Evaluation of Returns: Investment Options inside of Variable Annuities
    10. Fee and Charges
    11. Options If You Already Own an Annuity
    12. When Should You Consider Using an Annuity?
    13. Recent Developments with Annuities
    14. Savings Bonds: Little-Known Good Deal
  13. Chapter 8: Is the Most Important Professional in Your Life Even a Professional?
    1. My Start as a Broker
    2. Pressure to Generate Business
    3. Why You Don't Invest with Borrowed Money
    4. Has the Industry Made Any Progress?
    5. Is Financial Advisory a Profession?
    6. Why You Want a Fiduciary
    7. More Things to Consider When You Choose Your Advisor
    8. A Better Way to Measure Results
  14. Chapter 9: Putting Investors First
    1. The Future of Finance
    2. Understand Who Your Advisor Works For
    3. Really Understand the Fees
    4. Try Asking These Questions
    5. What Else Can Be Done?
    6. The Role of CFA Institute
    7. Bigger Isn't Always Better
  15. About the Contributors
  16. About the Author
  17. Bibliography
  18. Index
  19. End User License Agreement