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Monday, 01 July 2024 13:55

Structured Notes Cost Barclays

Across the pond, Barclays' shares dropped 3.7% on Monday after the bank revealed it would incur an earnings loss due to issuing an excess of structured notes. The bank forecasts a £450 million ($590 million) charge and a nearly 30 basis point reduction in its core tier 1 capital ratio, of which many investors watch. 


Consequently, the bank will postpone its £1 billion share buyback announced on February 23rd. Structured notes, which are customized debt products, require stringent regulatory and risk management oversight, and are often used as a specific fixed income solution.


 Although Barclays aimed to cap its issuance at $5 billion in 2019, it registered $20.8 billion instead. The bank has not clarified how this error occurred or why it took nearly three years to detect.

Finsum: This over extension reveals the complexity of implementation of structured notes but they still serve a valuable purpose. 

Friday, 28 June 2024 04:24

The Best Low-Cost Growth ETFs

ETF costs have fallen precipitously over the last decade but finding growth-oriented options can be a small challenge. Investing $3,000 evenly across these ETFs incurs just $12 in annual fees, making it a cost-effective strategy. All three ETFs have outperformed the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite in 2024, suggesting they have more growth potential.


  • The Vanguard Russell 1000 Growth ETF (VONG) tracks top growth stocks from the Russell 1000 index, boasting significant exposure to tech giants like Microsoft, Apple, and Nvidia, and offers a low expense ratio of 0.08%. 
  • The Roundhill Generative AI & Technology ETF (CHAT) targets the burgeoning generative AI market, with holdings including Nvidia, Microsoft, and Alphabet, and has seen a 22% rise year-to-date with an expense ratio of 0.75%. 
  • The VanEck Semiconductor ETF (SMH) provides broad exposure to the semiconductor industry, including companies like Taiwan Semiconductor and ASML, with a low expense ratio of 0.35%. 

Finsum: Technology seems to have sustained the high interest rate below and could be poised to turn around!

Blackstone aims to expand its European private credit fund, ECRED, by doubling its size within the next year, having already secured €1bn from affluent European investors. Launched in 2022, ECRED strives to match the success of Blackstone's $54bn US fund, BCRED. 


This move aligns with similar initiatives from Goldman Sachs, CVC, and Ares, reflecting a rising interest in private credit investments across Europe. Initially facing regulatory hurdles and cautious investors, Blackstone is now focused on expanding its market reach and adding more distributors. 


ECRED, which invests primarily in private credit assets with a portion in liquid assets, seeks to leverage the thriving $1.7tn market for private corporate loans.

Finsum: Private Credit offers the ability to capture yield in uncorrelated markets and could be helpful for those seeking alternative returns. 

Friday, 28 June 2024 03:21

Top Three Early Fall Golf Destinations

Fall golf can be bittersweet for northern golfers as it signals the end of the season, but also offers some of the most comfortable and scenic play. It’s not too early to start planning that big fall season destination golf trip which brings enjoyment of the milder temperatures and colorful foliage. 

  • Orlando, Florida, is a popular destination with quality public options like the Disney courses and the Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate, featuring Greg Norman designs. 


  • South Carolina's Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head offer top-notch stay-and-play resorts with courses designed by notable architects, such as the Barefoot Resort and Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort. 


  • Northern Michigan is a prime spot for fall golf, with Arcadia Bluffs and Forest Dunes providing stunning scenery and top-ranked courses.

Finsum: Whether embracing cooler temps or seeking warmer destinations, there are excellent options for a fall golf trip.

In the current macroeconomic environment, fixed income investors have numerous options for attaining yield but getting active management is a different story, making the Eaton Vance Total Return Bond ETF (EVTR) particularly noteworthy. This ETF offers core exposure in an actively managed fund at a low cost, which is beneficial as interest rates are expected to stay high before eventually declining. 


Active management of the EVTR can provide the necessary flexibility to navigate the uncertainties of the bond market, especially with the volatility that has persisted into 2024. The fund's benchmark, the Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Index, ensures a diversified mix of over 500 holdings, including safe haven Treasuries and higher-yielding bonds. 


Investors benefit from an attractive expense ratio of 0.39% and a 30-day SEC yield of 5.17%. The EVTR provides a comprehensive solution for core bond exposure or as a complement to existing bond portfolios, leveraging the expertise of Eaton Vance’s fixed income team.

Finsum: Typically, cost is the main concern with active management, but a cheap active exposure could be the goldilocks solution. 

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