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New Investment Strategy: Preparing for End Times

NY Times [1]
June 30, 2011

Investment professionals have a new pitch: The sky could soon be falling.

While Greece took a step back from the brink on Wednesday, the possibility of a default remains a fear. Europe’s debt crisis, as well as natural disasters and political uprisings, are prompting investors both big and small to seek out investments that promise to protect their portfolios in the event of economic Armageddon.

Worried that Greece could go belly up? So-called black swan funds — named for rare and unexpected events — offer a way to profit in the event of a market collapse. Think a slowdown in the United States or China could set off a global economic crisis? New exchange-traded funds [2] are popping up to help pad investor confidence.

Since the financial crisis, many investors have prospered from a rebound in the markets. But recent events have led some to brace for the worst.

“Clients are suddenly realizing the world isn’t as rosy as it’s been,” said Ahmed Fattouh, a hedge fund executive. “It makes a lot of sense to have these tail protections on.”

That is, protections against what Wall Street calls “tail risk” — a disaster that is estimated to have less than half a percent chance of happening.

Full article here [1]

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