Investment Product Review


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In this series we examine investment products and strategies, from the mundane to the highly complex, explaining how they work and why we do or do not use these particular products or strategies in our portfolios.

[Investment Product Review] Bank Loans: Cutting Through The Hype

Bank loans (also known as senior or leveraged loans) have become an increasingly popular investment in the past year or two.  On the surface, these securities seem to offer the best of both worlds; a high current yield along with a built-in protection against rising interest rates.  However, as is the case with all investment […]

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[Investment Product Review] Liquid Alternative Funds: Hedge Funds for the Rest of Us?

Have you ever heard a pitch like this?  “We’ve got a fund that incorporates the best of both worlds: Hedge fund like strategies and return potentials without the high fees and loss of liquidity!”  Well, maybe.  Let’s take a look at these vehicles — liquid alternative funds – alternative strategies in mutual fund form, that […]

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[Investment Product Review] Emerging Market Bonds – An Analysis of the Debt of Developing Countries

With interest rates near historic lows, investors have started to explore more exotic options to increase portfolio yield.  One common area that has seen large amounts of interest over the past several years is emerging market debt, which refers to any debt securities issued in countries considered to be “emerging” such as China, South Korea, […]

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[Investment Product Review] Private Equity: Venture Capital and Mezzanine Debt – Part 3

The previous article in this series described leveraged buyouts — where a private equity firm initiates a purchase of a public company with the intention of increasing the value of that company and selling for a profit in a short period of time.  Another often referenced form of private equity is venture capital.  Venture capital […]

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[Investment Product Review] Private Equity: Leveraged Buyouts – Part 2

When people use the term “private equity,” they are most likely referring to buyouts.  A buyout is the process by which an investor or group of investors purchases the equity of a company in order to gain control of that company.  Buyouts tend to come from one of three groups; current management (of the company […]

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[Investment Product Review] Alternatives: Market Neutral Strategies – Part 3

The previous post on alternative investment styles discussed directional equity investment strategies, meaning funds that attempt to provide excess returns both through stock selection and through the use of short selling.  This Investment Product Review will highlight a specific type of long/short strategy: market neutral investing.  This style of investing focuses on producing “pure alpha” […]

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[Investment Product Review] Smart Beta: The Future Of Investing Or Another Sales Tactic?

The passive versus active investment management debate continues to rage on, although the recent momentum appears to be on the side of passive managers promoting index linked funds.   In fact, equity index funds now comprise 21% of the equity mutual fund universe (as of the first quarter of 2013), up significantly from 12% in 2004.  […]

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[Investment Product Review] A Guide To Master Limited Partnerships

A Master Limited Partnership (MLP) is a limited partnership (as opposed to a corporation) that is listed on a securities exchange.  This business structure allows the ownership of the firm (known as the general partner/s) to maintain complete control of the business, as opposed to being answerable to shareholders.  Further, MLPs receive favorable tax treatment […]

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