Broker-sold structured notes.. stop the insanity!

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. --Upton Sinclair

The investment below was recently pitched to a client of mine by her (ex) stock broker. Here's the description from page 2 of the 21 page prospectus:

"The Buffered Securities offer the potential for a positive return at maturity based on the absolute value of a limited range of percentage changes of the worst performing underlying index. At maturity, if the final index value of each underlying index is greater than its respective initial index value, investors will receive the stated principal amount of their investment plus a return reflecting 100% to 105% participation (to be determined on the pricing date) in the positive performance of the worst performing underlying index. If the final index value of either underlying index is less than or equal to its respective initial index value but the final index value of each underlying index is greater than or equal to 85% of its respective initial index value, investors will receive the stated principal amount of their investment plus a positive return based on the absolute value of the performance of the worst performing underlying index. However, if the final index value of either underlying index is less than 85% of its respective initial index value, the absolute return feature will no longer be available and instead investors will lose 1% for every 1% decline in the worst performing underlying index beyond the specified buffer amount, subject to the minimum payment at maturity. Investors may lose up to 85% of the stated principal amount of the Buffered Securities. All payments on the Buffered Securities are subject to our credit risk."

Too much for you? Okay, let's just look at what it's called:

Dual Directional Buffered Participation Securities Based on the Value of the Worst Performing of the S&P 500® Index and the Russell 2000® Index due June 1, 2022 | Principal at Risk Securities

Still confused? No wonder. I think I can explain it:

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