Posted by on May 15, 2020 in Articles & Advice, Blog, Books, Columns, Featured |

Image Credit: Alex Nabaum



By Jason Zweig | May 15, 2020 11:00 am ET


The catchier an investment’s name, the more you should ask: What’s the catch?

Just consider YES. Offered to wealthy advisory clients of UBS Group AG, YES stands for Yield Enhancement Strategy. Who doesn’t love getting to yes? And who wouldn’t want to enhance yield?

YES, whose holdings peaked around $6 billion in mid-2018, effectively borrows against clients’ holdings at UBS and uses the proceeds to trade options. The product is akin to a margin loan against existing holdings; losses could compel an investor to put in extra cash or securities.

Although clients say UBS financial advisers told them the strategy was conservative, in reality it often embedded risky bets that markets would stay placid — gambles on which many investors lost 20% or more. The Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into how it was marketed.


To read the rest of the column:


For further reading:


Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor

Jason Zweig,The Devil’s Financial Dictionary

Jason Zweig, Your Money and Your Brain

Jason Zweig, The Little Book of Safe Money


Articles and other resources:


What Nervous Investors Are Buying to Feel Brave

The Risk Is Not in Our Funds, But in Ourselves

When You Guard Against One Risk, You Can Create Another

Why Getting Rich Quick Doesn’t Sound Crazy