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As a handful of brave souls find out every four years, running for President of the United States generally involves opening up your personal life to intense examination by opponents, the media, and general public. Generally, the scrutiny focuses on personal histories–arrests, affairs, and lawsuits make for juicy reading. But being a public servant can also mean opening up your financial records to the public–especially if you’re potentially in a position to profit from insider information on regulatory developments.

A recent analysis by the Wall Street Journal revealed the unusual composition of the portfolio held by Ron Paul, the Republican presidential candidate who is known as a critic of the Federal Reserve and opponent of big government. The asset management strategies of the Texas Congressman, who is also a physician, are anything but traditional. Paul’s portfolio, which he indicated was worth between $2.4 million and $5.5 million, has little in the way of large cap stocks or U.S. Treasuries. Instead, his bets are primarily geared to perform well in the event that the U.S. economy collapses or inflation accelerates–meaning that his personal portfolio is largely consistent with his political views.  [click to continue…]

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June was another interesting month for markets around the world as a number of important events transpired over the past few weeks. The Federal Reserve meeting came and went without much of a hitch as Bernanke called for the end of QE at the end of the month but suggested that the economy was still too weak to consider raising rates any time soon. While this was undoubtedly an important event, investors focused in on the euro zone and the ongoing debt crisis rocking many of the peripheral members. The focus was especially on Greece, as Athens debated on the merits of another round of austerity measures before voting them in by a slim five vote margin in the final days of June. This helped to ease investor concerns heading into the second half of the year, allowing the S&P 500 to gain back much of the losses that it experienced in the first half of the month, but nevertheless finished down just under 2.2% for the period.

The month also kept up the impressive pace that we have seen for new fund launches; more than 40 new ETFs have been launched since the start of June. This exceeds May’s 39 launches and ties April’s total, meaning that over 120 new products have hit the market in the past 90 days. [click to continue…]

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A Dead Cat Bounce?

by on June 18, 2011

The last week was an up-and-down stretch for global equity markets, as the intensifying crisis in Greece dominated headlines and investors scrambled to analyze the potential fallout from what seems increasingly likely to be a default on sovereign debt obligations. The jump in equity markets–which snapped a six week losing streak–wasn’t really attributable to good […]

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Direxion continued the expansion of its already robust lineup of leveraged and inverse ETFs on Wednesday, debuting two pairs of 3x daily products along with an inverse fund offering short exposure to an index replicated by one of the most popular U.S. equity ETFs. The latest additions to the ETF lineup include:

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