More Products, Less Complexity?
February 2, 2010
Decent article(and title!) explaining ETFs in FTfm today – growth of the market sounds impressive, from $40bn in the year 2000 to over $1,000bn under management now. Seemed like a bit of a day for new financial products in the FT, with the LSE announcement of opening up direct bond trading to retail investors through offering corporate bonds issued in sizes well below the usual £50,000 size (and catching up with more usual practice in Europe). Whilst not a retail product (I guess some of us already have life insurance?), longevity derivatives seem to continue their rise too in liability driven investment.
Meanwhile over on Linkedin, Structured Products magazine are asking just what constitutes a "complex" product? A decent question since complex products are not necessarily risky, but certainly "complexity is in the eye of the beholder" is most likely answer in my view – echoing a growing problem in finance, regulation and economics at the moment; there are too many people searching for the unique "right" answer to questions that simply do not have one. Maybe we should stick to the answer to everything being "42" and give up the search for the question?…