It may be the dream of every Silicon Valley entrepreneur to turn his or her app into a multi-million dollar company, but that dream can quickly turn into a nightmare for coders without a financial background. To address this issue, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management’s Palo Alto Group announced a joint initiative with Nasdaq Private Market to help founders manage their equity ownership, enhance their relationship with employees and shareholders, and help sell shares of private company stock plans. “In a growing trend, companies are staying private longer and are arranging for structured liquidity programs for employees and other shareholders who wish to sell non-public equity ownership interests for diversification and other purposes,” said Marc Brookman, the head of institutional products and sales for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.
Drunk on Gold
Billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller was George Soros’ co-pilot back when Soros earned more than $1 billion shorting the British pound in 1992. His own hedge fund, Duquesne Capital, had a fantastic run, but Druckenmiller converted it to a family office for his own investments in 2010, claiming there were too few opportunities to be found in a world of perpetually zero interest rates and an inflated equity market. Now, he’s made a big bet on gold, according to his latest filings, buying 2.9 million shares of the SPDR Gold Trust ETF, GLD. The ETF, which has fallen some 40 percent in price since mid-2011 along with the plunge in the price of the metal itself, is his largest holding, accounting for 20 percent of his assets. According to gold watcher Ashraf Laidi, it’s unclear whether Druckenmiller is betting on a short-term bounce in an oversold fund, or convinced gold will make a return in a coming bear market for stocks. The fact that he’s also invested in gold and copper mining companies suggests the latter, Laidi says.
Because indexed annuities are not classified as a security, FINRA and the SEC do not control the sales message. Instead, these fall under the purview of overworked, understaffed state insurance regulators. Suffice it to say, there’s not much oversight when it comes to the marketing, according to MarketWatch. And consumer ads meant to scare near-retirees into indexed annuities are “tame” compared to the “over-the-top-nonsense” messages heaped on the agents meant to sell them. So what should clients do? Use common sense and avoid products with misleading terms like "hybrid," "market lock" and "market upside with no downside.” Also, it’s probably a good idea to disregard annuity advice from celebrities.