Email of the day
Comment of the Day

June 06 2011

Commentary by David Fuller

Email of the day

On structured products from a new subscriber:
"I've been a reader of your free e-mail service for a number of years now and have always found your articles very interesting and informative- however as it's a free service I've always just been teased with the initial paragraph of the piece!

"I have just upgraded my service and can read everything in more detail which is great.

"However I am interested in an area that never seems to get too much coverage (or if it does I have missed it?). The subject is that of structured products- I believe they are becoming more popular again and more transparent than in recent times. I like to invest in different indices and have a keen interest in EuroStoxx 50, Nikkei 225 and S&P 500- Am I right in thinking I could invest into a SP that tracks these indices with limited downside risk to my investment? And also what is your view on those indices currently?

"As I say I have been very impressed with both yours and Eoin's commentary over the years and continue to follow your views with most interest!
Thanking you in anticipation!"

David Fuller's view Welcome to Fullermoney and thanks for the feedback.

I am glad that you studied the free content in detail before subscribing. There is more than enough analysis and other material in the Archive for any investor to decide in their own time whether or not the subscription service would be of interest to them. That way you are free to assess us, unimpeded by the customary sales patter. Anyone can also look back and see what we said at any earlier stage of the market cycle. For us, it is the turtle rather than hare route for attracting new subscribers but that is fine because investors who have done their homework tend to stay longer, often for decades.

Regarding "structured products", a Search of the Archive (click on 'Search' shown upper-left, fourth item down, then type - structured products - in the window) will reveal 17 results, of which 16 are now in the public domain. These include helpful feedback from our global subscribers.

Briefly, we are not fans of structured products, as you will see starting with my comments on 11th November 2010 and working backwards. High fees and underperformance are the problems most frequently mentioned by investors.

In terms of due diligence, we feel that every investor should read the prospectus, not least the small print, if considering an investment in any structured product.

There are unleveraged trackers for the indices you mention and these generally have much lower costs than structured products. Our view on the three that you mentioned is that they are still in a corrective phase. You may also want to keep an eye on their respective bank indices as these are often lead indicators.

Back to top