https://www.retirementplanningscottsdale.com/2019/11/13/anil-vazirani-scottsdale-investment-advisor-shares-billionaire-ken-fisher-draws-scrutiny-from-federal-regulators/ Anil Vazirani Scottsdale Investment Advisor shares Billionaire Ken Fisher became a huge player in a controversial area of Wall Street: exchange-traded notes. ETNs are debt instruments issued by banks that can enable investors to make leveraged bets on investments including stocks, bonds and commodities.
ETN’s risks and high costs have drawn scrutiny from federal regulators, and recently the firm’s clients have pulled $3.9 billion since the founder Ken Fisher was called out for making lewd remarks, and Bloomberg reported that the company has an aggressive sales culture and has been the subject of more than 100 Federal Trade Commission complaints over its telemarketing, emails and mailings.
Fisher Investments first ventured into the little-understood part of the exchange-traded fund industry in 2012, when its private client portfolio had been below its benchmark.
To catch up, Fisher went all-in on a selection of large-capitalization companies he viewed as set to benefit from the later stage of a bull market. He used exchange-traded notes as a way to leverage this bet. It was an attempt to rescue the firm’s track record, according to one former employee.
For customers, the ETNs aren’t cheap. The banks charge management fees to structure, issue and run these products, plus more to cover their funding costs. Some of Fisher’s ETNs ended up charging at least 4%, according to two bankers that worked with the firm on these offerings. The average ETF costs 0.48%, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Investment counselors at Fisher were taught to downplay the risks involved with ETNs by calling them “enhanced” instead of “leveraged,” when discussing them with clients, according to former employees who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation.
For more information: https://onwallstreet.financial-planning.com/articles/ken-fisher-has-a-side-bet-on-a-risky-corner-of-wall-street
Anil Vazirani is president of Secured Financial Solutions, independent insurance advisor investment advisor rep with a fiduciary obligation and in the financial services industry since 1994. A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau for over a decade and a half, members in good standing with the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.
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