FINRA Issues Alert on Risks of Exchange-Traded Notes

by Wall Street Fraud on July 18, 2012

Philadelphia securities fraud lawyerRegulators are continuing to raise red flags regarding the risks associated with exchange-traded notes. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority recently issued an Investor Alert called Exchange-Traded Notes—Avoid Unpleasant Surprises regarding these investments.

As the alert highlights, ETNs are a type of debt security that trade on exchanges and promise a return linked to a market index or other benchmark. While these products can offer investors convenient and cost-effective exposure to everything from commodities to emerging markets, they can be complex and risky investments. Therefore, it is imperative that investors understand how they work.

"ETNs are complex products and can carry a raft of risks. Investors considering ETNs should only invest if they are confident the ETN can help them meet their investment objectives and they fully understand and are comfortable with the risks," said Gerri Walsh, FINRA's Vice President for Investor Education.

Exchange-Traded Notes describes the specific risks associates with ETNs, including:

  • Credit Risk. ETNs are unsecured debt obligations of the issuer.
  • Market Risk. As an index's value changes with market forces, so will the value of the ETN in general, which can result in a loss of principal to investors.
  • Liquidity Risk. Although ETNs are exchange-traded, a trading market may not develop.
  • Price-Tracking Risk. Investors should be wary of buying at a price that varies significantly from closing and intraday indicative values.
  • Holding-Period Risk. Some leveraged, inverse and inverse leveraged ETNs, are designed to be short-term trading tools, and the performance of these products over long periods can differ significantly from the stated multiple of the performance (or inverse of the performance) of the underlying index or benchmark during the same period.
  • Call, Early Redemption and Acceleration Risk. Some ETNs are callable at the issuer's discretion.
  • Conflicts of Interest. The issuer of the notes may engage in trading activities that are at odds with investors who hold the notes (shorting strategies, for instance).

If you have been the victim of broker fraud or negligence, we may be able to help you recover your losses. Contact us today at 215-839-3953 for a free consultation.

At Wall Street Fraud, we are dedicated to offering assistance to those who have been hurt by improper corporate or investment practices.

If you have been the victim of stock brokerage fraud, securities fraud, mutual fund fraud, stockbroker fraud, annuities fraud, or any other type of investment fraud or negligence, please contact our securities fraud attorneys today for a free case evaluation. Our talented and aggressive legal and professional staff is eager to help you recover your losses.

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