Structured Products Equal Big Profits

Structured products are flying off the shelves of U.S. brokerage firms, even if many reps and retail investors aren't sure how they work. The term generally refers to a financial instrument whose underlying asset comes with a downside-protection guarantee or a higher-return promise. According to a recent report from Needham, Mass.-based research firm Tower Group, Wall Street brokerages stand to earn

Structured products are flying off the shelves of U.S. brokerage firms, even if many reps and retail investors aren't sure how they work. The term generally refers to a financial instrument whose underlying asset comes with a downside-protection guarantee or a higher-return promise. According to a recent report from Needham, Mass.-based research firm Tower Group, Wall Street brokerages stand to earn $33.2 billion in revenue from derivatives and structured products in 2006.

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