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17 Sep 2009

Hedgeable's Search for America's Worst Investor

On a humorous note, Hedgeable.com launched today with the "Search for America's Worst Investor," a nationwide contest to find three people with the portfolios hit hardest by the financial crisis.

"As the crisis revealed, retail investors are lost when it comes to implementing strategies to protect their wealth," said Hedgeable CEO and co-founder Michael Kane, formerly an analyst at Spruce Private Investors, a $2 billion ultra-high net worth money manager. "We want to guide investors on how to decide when to sell, eliminate major losses, and realize portfolio growth in up or down markets."

Americans are still trying to recover from the unprecedented loss of wealth of 2007-2009. Hedgeable.com, which is offering a free trial of its service, advocates the need for investors to make periodic trades to help protect and grow their portfolios.

The Search for "America's Worst Investor"

The contest, which runs from September 16 to September 30, 2009, is open to anyone who registers free of charge on the Hedgeable.com site. The top three individuals whose portfolio performance earns them the distinction of "Worst Investor in America" will receive the following prizes:

-- First Prize: An all-expenses-paid vacation for two to Rome, Italy,
where they will find similarities between the U.S.'s current economic
situation and the Roman Empire's collapse due to leverage, taxes, a
de-valued currency, and massive debt.


-- Second Prize: A trip for two to picturesque Iceland, a country that
has seen its stock market lose 97% of its value due to leveraged bets
and excessive debt.


-- Third Prize: A trip for two to Las Vegas, the "foreclosure and
gambling capital of America."


"The anniversary of Lehman's demise should remind us of the huge risk in not managing a hedged portfolio," Kane concluded. "If the U.S. continues on its current path, it's the everyday investor who will be affected the most, by a second collapse that could make the Roman Empire seem like small potatoes."

Hedgeable Inc. is registered as an investment advisor with the SEC.

Bankers Open $12 Billion CaymanToxic Asset Hedge Fund

A group of 45 bankers have plans to avoid new strict rules on pay and bonuses, making more than £240 million ($400 million) between them, according to TimesOnline.

Led by British bankers Michael Keely and Stephen King, sources say they will quit Barclays to take on a contract managing £7.5 billion ($12.3 billion) of Barclays’ most toxic debt in a fund registered in the Cayman Islands. Barclays will lend $12.6 billion to Protium, a newly created Cayman Islands-registered hedge fund, to buy the toxic assets.

Barclays said in a press release that the shift of assets did not remove any risk from its balance sheet, but guaranteed it a more steady stream of income from them.

London analysts admitted they were puzzled by the scheme and could not see any great immediate benefit in it for Barclays, according to the London Evening Standard. Traders in other investment banks are quitting to avoid likely curbs on bonuses. About 20 from Société Générale left this week to set up a hedge fund called Nexar Capital to escape the bonus crackdown being threatened by Nicolas Sarkozy, the UK paper said.

Deloitte Adds Hedge Fund Heavyweights Schubert and Iler

Hedge fund pioneers Ellen C. Schubert and Ray J. Iler have joined the hedge fund team of Deloitte LLP's Asset Management Services practice.

Schubert joined Deloitte in the newly-created role of Chief Advisor to the Asset Management Services practice and is based in New York. Prior to joining Deloitte, Schubert was a managing director and global head of the Fixed Income Hedge Fund Business for UBS Investment Bank from 2006 until 2008.

Iler rejoined Deloitte as the Northwest Pacific hedge fund leader and is based in San Francisco. From 2001 to 2006, he founded the tax practice and served as Audit Partner for Deloitte’s Grand Cayman practice.

The new hires are the latest in a series of strategic growth initiatives executed over the last 18 months by Cary Stier, Deloitte’s U.S. Head of Asset Management Services.

"Challenging times call for new ideas. The breadth of our practice offers us the perspective vital to designing new solutions that help clients prepare for the unforeseen. There has been too much surprise in the market, a trend that cannot continue," Stier added.

Ten current Deloitte partners have been newly-dedicated to Deloitte's hedge fund team, joining the global bench of talent in accounting and tax, valuation, anti-fraud, governance and oversight, regulatory and compliance, risk management, technology and operations, structuring, and third party administrator/prime brokerage relationships.