From: Carol Riley
Hello, my name is Carol Riley. I’m a retired advertising executive and a casual retail investor. Casual in that I only invest in stocks issued by large US companies. The bulk of my husband’s and my investable assets are handled by our financial advisor. I have been playing with stocks for a couple of years now but mostly as a hobby.
I felt the need to write to you because I was concerned by a recent Facebook advertisement I had received for these funds in which you are reviewing. I did not take a picture of the ad but it had suggested making: A bold trade. What troubled me the most was the venue in which the advertisement appeared and why it had targeted me. From what I gather I somehow had a cookie on my browser from a site I visited. A cookie is bit of data that advertisers are able to use to follow you and show you ads that may be of interest to you- very different from what we used before the rise of the internet. Upon researching these leveraged etfs I see that it is intended for use by sophisticated investors. However, the ad appears to be targeting all groups of investors including myself-on Facebook no less. To me it appeared predatory, in a way, with the wording glamorizing the product. Normally I would have chalked it up as another get rich scam but was totally awestruck that these products are real. I understand the need to advertise having come from the industry but at the same time I strongly feel that there absolutely must be a moral obligation of the advertiser when selecting who they want to sell to. From my research, these products appear to be very complex and not intended for someone such as myself. If it truly is meant to be used daily there must be a way to structure them so that investors cannot hold onto it for more than a day and if the investor must be smart enough to use them there should be a screening process to do so. Advertising relies heavily on human emotions and trying to predict how they are likely to respond and as marketing 101 has taught us: humans will generally overestimate themselves and their abilities.
I am not exactly sure what you are attempting to do with the proposal and get lost in the industry jargon. However, if your main goal is protecting investors such as myself I do hope that you take into consideration what I had seen on social media.
Please forward this to the appropriate party if this is not the correct place for this topic.