5 February 2012

What are 'complex financial products'?

An arbitration award that related to the sale of a 'complex financial product' illustrates the problem that ordinary investors face when offered these products. In nearly all such situations they find themselves at a severe disadvantage vis-a-vis the salesperson or financial adviser. It is like asking the patient to make a judgement about the correct procedure when faced with cancer. So trust is of paramount importance in any relationship between an investor and financial professionals. Sadly, we can only recommend to always get a second opinion from a neutral expert before buying any financial instrument as the layman cannot really know when an investment vehicle is 'complex' enough to warrant special caution and analysis.