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All hail the capitalist pigs

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Good news (sort of) from an island that rarely has any. On Monday, Fidel Castro announced he’s stepping aside. For boomers, it conjures fond memories of air raid sirens and marking the quickest route to the local fallout shelter. For Wall Street, it means money.

Brett Arends writes in the Wall Street Journal that the news from Havana has already sparked an investment stampede into Cuba. Arends explains that Cuba, in this context, is the Wall Street name for the Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund, which trades under the ticker CUBA and plans to invest in the island the moment it opens for trade. News of Fidel Castro’s retirement sent shares soaring as much as 29 percent as private investors rushed to get in. It’s a perfectly reasonable fund, but as Arends notes (and it’s tough to disagree), investors are jumping the gun. They’re rushing in without looking closely at what they are buying or what they are paying.

Sound familiar? It should. And it’s a perfect time to remind clients of the dangers of chasing the hot new thing and the need for proper due diligence. It’s best to advise them to take a moment, light a cigar, and see how the situation plays out.


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