Seeking Alpha

Jake Zamansky

 
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  • Puerto Rico's Government And Assorted Agencies Are Running Out Of Money
    Mon, Jan. 26 7 Comments

    Summary

    • Puerto Rico is running out of cash.
    • Puerto Rico will likely restructure its debt.
    • Bond holders will be hit hard.
  • Swiss Franc And Falling Oil: The Black Swans Are On The Pond
    Fri, Jan. 23 USO, OIL, UCO 9 Comments

    Summary

    • The Swiss franc and falling oil prices are "Black Swan" events.
    • Exposed banks will take hits.
    • Investors should check their portfolios for Swiss and oil exposure.
  • 2014 Was A Bumpy Road For Mom And Pop Investors. Here's Hoping 2015 Is A Smoother Ride
    Wed, Jan. 7 1 Comment

    Summary

    • 2014 saw stock gains, Puerto Rico bond losses and less investor protection.
    • In 2015, oil and gas investments will get hit.
    • Investor protection will erode in 2015.
  • Investors Once Again Getting Stuck With The Short End Of The Stick
    Dec. 19, 2014 9 Comments

    Summary

    • Government actions have harmed investors' interests.
    • A court made insider trading easier; FINRA gave a "wrist slap" for sharp research practices.
    • Congress voted to roll back Dodd-Frank protections.
  • Puerto Rico's Day Of Economic Reckoning Has Arrived
    Dec. 9, 2014 MUB, PZA, TFI 7 Comments

    Summary

    • Puerto Rico's economy Is tanking.
    • The FBI raided two Puerto Rico authorities.
    • Bond defaults are looming.
  • Could Falling Oil Prices Create The Next Financial Disaster For Mom And Pop Investors?
    Dec. 3, 2014 WFC, BCS, OIL 8 Comments

    Summary

    • Falling oil prices, good for customers, could harm investors.
    • The shale business and high yield energy bonds could tank.
    • Investors should beware the energy sector.
  • Wall Street's Shameful Commodities Market Play
    Nov. 26, 2014 USO, OIL, UCO 6 Comments

    Summary

    • The Senate charged Wall Street firms with manipulating the commodities market.
    • Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley allegedly influenced commodity prices.
    • Wall Street profited at consumers' expense.
  • The Securities Industry Labels Efforts To Protect Investors As Too Costly
    Nov. 19, 2014 3 Comments

    Summary

    • FINRA has proposed a "Comprehensive Automated Risk Data System" (CARDS) to prevent investor abuses.
    • SIFMA, the securities industries lobby, is trying to kill CARDS.
    • Investors are willing to pay for more protection.
  • Will The Republican Election Sweep Damage Investor Protection?
    Nov. 13, 2014 4 Comments

    Summary

    • The Republican election could damage investor protection.
    • The SEC needs to side on the fiduciary duty rule for investors and the accredited investor rule revamp.
    • Given the political climate, it is likely that the SEC will not move forward with these investor protection rules.
  • Is Puerto Rico Heading Towards A Federal Bailout?
    Nov. 4, 2014 2 Comments

    Summary

    • Puerto Rico's financial condition continues to deteriorate.
    • Puerto Rico faces a narrowing liquidity with its cash dwindling.
    • Puerto Rico may be forced to seek a federal bailout.
  • As Market Fear Heightens, Risky And Opaque Structured Notes Make A Comeback
    Oct. 22, 2014 GS, CS, OUBS Comment!

    Summary

    • Recent volatility has led advisers to "push" structured products.
    • These products seek to provide market upside and limit risk.
    • Investors need full risk disclosure about potential losses.
  • Will Holder's Successor Also Deem Wall Street Execs 'Too Big To Jail'?
    Sep. 26, 2014 6 Comments

    Summary

    • Attorney General Holder said that Wall Street criminals will be prosecuted.
    • Investors have lost confidence in the system.
    • The new attorney general needs to show that no one is "Too Big To Jail."
  • Like Villains From A James Bond Flick, Hedgies Coolly Play Their Hand In Puerto Rico
    Sep. 15, 2014 1 Comment

    Summary

    • Hedge funds own 10% of Puerto Rico's bonds.
    • The funds are exerting influence over the government.
    • The funds are seeking short-term gains at bond holders' expense.
  • The Puerto Rico Economy Nears The Abyss
    Sep. 10, 2014 MUB, PZA, TFI 10 Comments

    Summary

    • Puerto Rico's economy continues to tank.
    • Economic activity has fallen for the 19th straight month to a twenty-year low.
    • UBS investor bond holders are sure to suffer.
  • Wall Street's Breach Of Trust
    Sep. 5, 2014 7 Comments

    Summary

    • There is no "Fiduciary Duty" rule in place to protect investors.
    • The Dodd Frank law gave the SEC the authority to pass the rule.
    • Wall Street lobbying has killed the rule.
  • It's High Time To Put The Investor First And Create A Fiduciary Standard For Brokers
    Aug. 26, 2014 Comment!

    Summary

    • In 2008, Congress authorized the SEC to pass a "fiduciary duty" rule.
    • The rule requires stock brokers to put their customers' interests first.
    • Wall Street has been lobbying to kill the rule.
  • Puerto Rico Bondholders See No Light At The End Of The Tunnel
    Aug. 11, 2014 MUB, PZA, TFI 4 Comments

    Summary

    • UBS Puerto Rico Bond fund holders are suffering huge losses.
    • Oppenheimer And Franklin Templeton Funds contain large positions in Puerto Rico debt.
    • These funds are being crushed.
  • Puerto Rico's Economy Is Gasping For Air
    Jul. 28, 2014 MUB, PZA, TFI 6 Comments

    Summary

    • Puerto Rico passed a law allowing government corporations to file for bankruptcy.
    • Bondholders have challenged the law in court.
    • Bondholders are likely to suffer losses.
  • Is Wall Street Setting Us Up For A Redo Of The 2008 Bubble Burst?
    Jul. 17, 2014 16 Comments

    Summary

    • Worldwide asset bubble is growing.
    • Investors need to beware of a 2008 redo.
    • Investors should beware of exotic high yield investments.
  • The Supreme Court Strikes Again: The Court Rules Against Business And In Favor Of Employee Stock Rights
    Jul. 1, 2014 FITB 13 Comments

    Summary

    • The Supreme Court rules for employees in an ERISA class action.
    • Fiduciaries are not entitled to a "Presumption Of Prudence."
    • Fiduciaries can be held liable for employees' stock losses.
  • The Supreme Court Deals A Blow To Big Business In Favor Of Investors
    Jun. 26, 2014 HAL 4 Comments

    Summary

    • The Supreme Court dealt a blow to big business in the Halliburton case.
    • The case preserved the "fraud on the market theory."
    • Investors retain their rights to sue in class action cases for fraud.
  • Investors Get Steamrolled By IRA Rollovers
    Jun. 23, 2014 25 Comments

    Summary

    • Retirees are rolling over their company 401(k) accounts to IRA accounts.
    • Such rollovers often entail higher fees and risk.
    • Investors should carefully consider their IRA rollover options.
  • Hedge Funds And Alternative Investments Are Too Complex And Costly For Mom And Pop Investors
    Jun. 18, 2014 1 Comment

    Summary

    • Hedge funds have not performed well in the past few years.
    • Hedge funds are inherently risky.
    • Retail investors should be careful investing in hedge funds.
  • Investors Should Beware Of Brokers Who Churn
    Jun. 9, 2014 1 Comment

    Summary

    • Stockbrokers continue to churn customer accounts.
    • Churning involves excessive trading to generate commissions.
    • Investors should review their accounts for churning.
  • Did Phil Mickelson Get A Wall Street Mulligan?
    Jun. 2, 2014 CLX 7 Comments

    Summary

    • Phil Mickelson is being investigated for insider trading.
    • Mickelson received a tip about Carl Icahn's Clorox bid.
    • Mom and Pop investors never have this edge.
  • Investors Are Chasing Yield At Their Own Peril
    May. 27, 2014 35 Comments

    Summary

    • Investors are piling into risky corporate bonds and pink sheet stocks.
    • Investors and financial advisors need to evaluate these risks.
    • Investors could get burned if defaults occur.
  • Retirees, Beware The Variable Annuity 2.0
    May. 23, 2014 25 Comments

    Summary

    • Variable annuity sales are down.
    • New "investment focused" annuities are being issued.
    • Investors should beware of these products.
  • Puerto Rico Takes A Flurry Of Body Blows
    May. 14, 2014 MUB, PZA, MUNI 13 Comments

    Summary

    • Puerto Rico is taking financial hits.
    • Tax revenues are down and bonds are being downgraded.
    • Doral Financial is in danger of default on bonds and notes.
  • Beware Of The Equity Indexed Annuity
    May. 7, 2014 5 Comments

    Summary

    • Stockbrokers have been pitching "Equity Indexed Annuities."
    • FINRA has been scrutinizing such sales.
    • Red flags include "switching" and high commissions.
  • The Velvet Rope Of Private Equity Opens For Retail Investors
    Apr. 29, 2014 2 Comments

    Summary

    • NASDAQ will open private equity sales to retail investors.
    • Private equity investing entails significant risks.
    • Investors do not appreciate these risks.
  • What Should Investors Know About Their Broker?
    Apr. 24, 2014 1 Comment

    Summary

    • Investors do no due diligence on their stockbrokers.
    • Many stockbrokers fail to disclose negative information.
    • FINRA will address this problem.
  • Puerto Rico Bond Offering: The New 'At Risk' Trade
    Apr. 14, 2014 1 Comment

    Summary

    • The March Puerto Rico bond offering was sold primarily to hedge funds.
    • Puerto Rico municipal bonds were previously sold primarily to retail buy and hold investors.
    • The hedge fund purchasers flipped their holdings shortly after the purchases, fearing a likely restructuring of the debt.