A basic rule of life is to avoid being a guinea pig in other people’s experiments. This is an inviolable rule of technology: consumers should always leave 1.0 of anything to the early adopters. All car fanatics know that any brand-new vehicle model will come with bugs, quirks and design issues that tend to get corrected in the second year of production. And anytime finance creates a new product -- from CDOs to ETNs to ICOs -- smart investors know to give these novel trading vehicles a wide berth until proven safe and effective in a variety of market and economic conditions. Which brings us to the most recent shiny Wall Street toy to blow up: inverse volatility products. Consider the Credit Suisse Velocity Shares Inverse VIX ETN. The prospectus for this product has a so-called termination clause, and Credit Suisse has said it will redeem the ETN later this month. What was worth $1.5 billion last week has since declined by roughly 95 percent. The best explanation I have seen to date o...

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