FAZ 3x Financial Bear Fund Crushed

Apr 29, 2009: 11:36 AM CST

I wanted to call your attention to a major fallacy permeating the trading community regarding the 3x leveraged short (inverse) Financial fund FAZ.  Let’s compare FAZ and XLF (financial SPDR) and then challenge a common assuption that seems plausible at first, but upon simple inspection, the fallacy comes to light.

FAZ Daily Chart:

The FAZ has fallen 92% from its March 6th high of $115 (as of this writing, it trades now at $8.50 per share).  Keep in mind, this almost complete wealth destruction occurred in just over a month.  With such a dramatic move possible, it serves as a warning sign for newer traders to avoid these 3x funds… though often newer traders are the ones most drawn to the possibilities (as in, greater than 100% returns in a month which are also possible and have occurred).

Notice the volume surge that has occurred as FAZ plunged to new lows – volume reached over 300 million shares on trading days last week.  This is a result of lower prices (which mean we can buy more shares for the same money) and availability to more traders (with smaller accounts).

Be very warned if you’re tempted to think, “I’m going to buy at $8.00 because this fund is going to turn right around and go back to $110 in a month!“  You are devastatingly wrong – and I’ll show why.

Remember the FAZ is a three-times leveraged fund of the financial sector.  Let’s take a look at XLF, the AMEX Sector SPDR to put FAX’s 90% plunge in context.

XLF Daily Chart:

In the same time FAZ fell 90%, XLF rose 92% from its March 6th lows of $5.88 to its April 17th high of $11.33.  Is it any wonder a 3x leveraged inverse fund plunged so far?  There’s structural mechanics of these funds I don’t intend to discuss here (please read the prospectus and fund description for Direxion), but I want to challenge a common assumption that I heard discussed recently.

Let’s revisit the question “If I buy FAZ at $8.00, and the XLF falls, then FAZ will surge back to $110 if the XLF retests the $6.00 March lows.”

Categorically false.

These fund relationships are not linear but for argument’s sake, let’s assume they are.

XLF falls 50% (let’s make it easy) back to $6.00 per share.  This would imply a 150% increase (more than doubling) in the FAZ fund.  “Wonderful!” you say, and yes, that is an impressive return.  At the $8.00 per share level FAZ is trading now, that would take the fund up to $20.00 per share.

But it is NOT going to take the index back to $110 as some people think.

Assuming linear price logic (which again is not the case due to nuances in the leveraged funds), what would it take to get FAZ back to $110?

For FAZ to move (linearlly) from $8.00 to $110, that would be an 1,375% return.

To get a 1,375% return in FAZ would require a 450% drop in XLF.

Ok, I’m being facetious, but I wanted to challenge the logic that “If I buy FAZ  here, then it will shoot right back up to $110 next month and I’ll make a killing.”

The XLF would have to fall bit by bit, step by step, losing 10% in a day here, losing 20% in a day there, losing 5% in a day there on and on to bring the price of FAZ back to the $110 level.

It’s the same principle that if you lose 50% of your account, then you can’t get back to where you started by returning 50% on your reminaing capital – you’ll need a 100% return to get back to where you started.  If by chance you lose 90% of your trading account (say, moving from $100,000 to $10,000), then you would need to take your remaining $10,000 and trade it up 1,000% to get back to your original $100,000.

You very well might do it, but you’re not going to do it in a month or even a year.

The same percentage logic goes for those expecting FAZ to get back to $110 any time soon.

Sidenote – the same logic applies to those thinking DXO – double-long crude oil – is going to regain its mid-2008 price highs of $28 any time soon.  DXO currently trades around $2.00.  Using linear logic (again, only for simplicity), for DXO to move from $2.00 back to $28.00 would be a 1400% move which would imply a 700% rise in Crude Oil.

To drive the point home, if you think DXO is going to get back soon to $28.00, then Crude Oil – which trades at $50.00, is going to have to move up 700% which would take price to $350 per barrel.  Do you think that’s going to happen anytime soon?

Don’t fall victim to this “trader’s trap” in these leveraged funds!

Corey Rosenbloom, CMT
Afraid to Trade.com

Follow Corey on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/afraidtotrade

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69 Comments

69 Responses to “FAZ 3x Financial Bear Fund Crushed”

  1. Keith Shepard Says:

    Yeah, check out the FAZ Point & Figure chart I stitched together a while back:

    - http://shepard.tumblr.com/post/96158527/faz-point-figure-chart

    Crazy…not a vehicle for proper speculation. Just gambling/day-trading.

    =^.^=

  2. CastorTroy Says:

    Great post as always

  3. Jeff Moodie Says:

    I did some math on the 2x leveraged funds a month or two ago and they, while not quite as bad, exhibit the same problem. In fact on fund recently performed a 4:1 consolidation in order to bring the price per unit back up. I cannot recall the fund off hand as it was not one that I traded or even watched.

    There is a rebalancing act that must be performed often if the underlying index fluctuates frequently in order to see a real 2 or 3 times return. This requires adding and removing capital from a core position on a regular basis.

    Some argue that is just the nature of percentage returns but this is not just a return issue, it is an assumption that the correlation between the fund return and the index return is real over the longer term.

    The prospectus, if anyone actually reads them, does illustrate this with examples, or the ones that I read do. So buyer beware as always.

    Oh, one of the “selling features” of the leveraged funds is that they cannot lose more than the capital that you put in, assuming no margin is used in the first place. While this is true they can certainly errode your capital in a hurry.

    Jeff.

  4. Tom Consanto Says:

    FAZ is not the inverse of XLF, but of the Russell 1000 Financials. Also, since these leveraged funds are rebalanced everyday, they are not good trading vehicles for anything longer than one day.

  5. Jack Says:

    Sure wish I had seen this before dropping $150K on trading FAZ. Lost $7.5 per share (20K shares)on the WFC pre-announcement, held overnight with a Stop Limit order. Of course blew right by the Stop Limit. Yes, new to trading, yes dumb mistakes, and yes stupidity is expensive. BTW- Great Site!

  6. Corey Rosenbloom Says:

    Keith,

    WOW! What a plunge!! Thank you for sharing. I encourage all readers to look at his chart. Amazing.

    Speculation only – not investing in these.

  7. Corey Rosenbloom Says:

    Jeff,

    Excellent explanation. I strongly encourage readers to check out the details on these funds – it’s worth it if it saves you from losing thousands of dollars.

    Rebalancing, re-allocating, etc is necessary or else every single fund would go down less than $1.00 per share over time.

    What I’m trying to stress here is the percentage function, and am side-stepping all the other features (rebalnacing, etc) in these funds.

    I’m trying to challenge the notion that “If I buy at $2.00, then it’s going straight back up to $20 like it was a month ago!”

    Hopefully that will get people thinking “Hmm. I should read more about these beasts!”

  8. Corey Rosenbloom Says:

    Tom,

    I know, and I probably should have pointed that out or used the financial index, but XLF is more recognizable to most newer traders, who are the focus on this post. I’m trying to drive home a singular point.

  9. Corey Rosenbloom Says:

    Jack,

    Ouch. I’m so sorry to hear that.

    That’s the beauty and curse of these funds – on a winning trade, you would have gained six figures but unfortunately the result was the opposite.

    What’s important is taking stops early on these 3x funds when wrong – you absolutely cannot give them room to run because the percentage factor (making back after a loss) eats away worse than on a normal stock.

  10. blues Says:

    Noway! IT WILL GO BACK TO $110, simply just do a 10:1 reverse split and it will get close to triple digit in ONE DAY! HA HA! :P

    But serious, not sure if anyone in their right mind would think that FAZ will go triple digit anytime soon (probably won’t ever)

    These fund are best for daytraders or a “few day” traders. All these 3X fund, the ultimate price is $0…

  11. Anonymous Says:

    hi there,

    3x ETF’s used to track short term trade, not long term trade. Your example will be right if XLF declines 50% in ONE DAY and so FAZ will go up only 150%.
    But if XLF declines 50%, say in 40 trading days, FAZ will not only go up 150% but more.

    Let me give you an example:
    Assume XLF declines 50% in the next 40 trading days, it means about 1,71% per day. In this case FAZ will go up 1.71% x 3 = 5.15% per day and about 7x (~$60) after that. It won’t hit $110 easy again but not that impossible.

    My 2 cent.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    On DXO, if backwardation in crude oil futures is back, it is possible for it to return to $28 without the need for crude oil to move to $350.

  13. Terry Says:

    Your 1.71 = 5.15% is wrong on three levels. First it ssumes 40 days of a one way trend. Second the faz doesn’t have anything to with XLF they track different indexes. Third and most important is your math. If the index loses 50% the FAZ gains 250%. If it gains a little each day the gain is a marginally better. The calcultion is
    new FAZ value = (1-((index new value/index old value)-1)*3))* FAZ old value.
    I track many ETF’s (GOLD OIL NG) my values are always on. You can’t generate 1.71% in the short hand method you used either – but if you could – the 3X gain is 3.13 (1+(.71*3)). Corey is 100% right. FAS and FAZ will both end up at zero within 5 years. Look at a chart of both over a year – one should be up!

  14. Scott Says:

    Hey Guys, Fairly new to the site, just an idea/though here on the 3x funds. Could there be a nice hedge opportunity here by shorting both ETFs simultaneously to profit on the tracking error while hedging the position by shorting both the long and short ETF? They are such new instruments that I wouldn’t have the courage to do it myself, but if we’re operating under the assumption that these are crummy instruments for anything other then daytrading, why not capitalize on that? Or perhaps a bearish option position on both the 3x long and short ETF? Just a thought.

  15. Terry Says:

    oops – swap that for
    new FAZ value = (1-((index old value/index new value)-1)*3))* FAZ old value.
    FAS by the way is =((((index new value/index old value)-1)*2)+1)* FAS old value.

    When COREY compared it to a margin account – think of having an account that is 66% margin and at the end of the day you sell or buy to maintain that. That is what ETF’s do. When the index is dropping they have to sell (or buy) to maintain the 3X (making things worse). On days the index goes up 5% you can see the toll. You lose 15%. If the index then losses 5% you gain 15% but you needed to gain 17.6%. These losses can not be made up EVER by any math. By the way – the market went down by 2X and 3X times ETF selling and now the bear ETF’s are doing the same. Shoe other foot.

  16. Microcap Speculator Says:

    Corey,

    Great illustration of an important principle. Though I generally stick to individual smallcap and microcap names, I started analyzing these after several friends told me that their financial advisors (including one in the Barron’s Top 100 – seriously) told them to look at 3x bull etfs for leveraged asset allocation. What I found is that all of the original 3x ETFs are down big over the last six months, whether bull or bear:
    http://microcapspeculator.net/2009/04/24/all-of-the-original-3x-etfs-down-over-the-past-six-months/

    You pegged it, their biggest threat is volatility. Playing these for more than a day or two is like betting the trifecta at the horse race. If you get everything right — picking the right direction, a strong persistent trend, and little day-to-day volatility — you win big. But if one of those elements is even a little off, the trade is a loser.

  17. E.t.f'd Says:

    Reply to Scott regarding shorting both sides – if you use google finance for a quick & dirty check of performance of both members of an ETF pair (FAZ/FAS, SSO/SDS, etc.) you’ll see that over longer timepoints that on balance shorting an equal amount (total value not total # shares) of both usually wins. This is especially true in flat or choppy markets, though it can break down in cases where there are sharp trends.

    Shorting has its hazards of course but there is merit to the idea.

    Full disclosure: presently short SDS & SSO

  18. Corey Rosenbloom Says:

    Blues,

    I’m right there with you 100%.

    But there are people who do believe that they’ll make a killing by snagging up shares of these 3x or 2x funds – that’s why I wrote the post. I’ve had to explain this to two people recently, hence the need to post a ‘blog’ about it.

    Greed blinds people to reality and – on the surface – I understand where the thinking comes from. But what goes down in the leveraged world will not come up as fast.

  19. Corey Rosenbloom Says:

    Anon #11,

    You’re right – I’m not trying to write a dissertation here on leveraged funds, but to point out the disastrous flaw in newer traders’ thinking regarding how much money they think they can make buy purchasing something ‘cheap.’ Perhaps, yes, in time, these ETFs will get back to their high water marks but it will not happen on a single swing and in a single day (or month). In other words, if XLF (or the financial sector) goes down to test its March lows, you won’t see levels like you expect if you expect the leveraged fund to go back to where it was in March.

    My goal is to warn new traders about this flaw so they don’t learn the lesson before it’s too late.

  20. Corey Rosenbloom Says:

    Anon #12,

    Indeed but again, the point is that it won’t happen on the next swing. In other words, if Crude snaps quickly back to $150, you won’t see DXO snap back to $30 on that single move.

    Some people – new traders – think it will and my goal is to protect them from thinking that.

  21. Corey Rosenbloom Says:

    Terry,

    You’re right – but remember I’m speaking simple language and simple math to new traders. If we bury them with details (which are important to us), they won’t bother to understand the main idea, and if they don’t, they could get very hurt in their misunderstanding.

    Please keep in mind new traders see these as “get rich quick” vehicles.

    People still watch a person (who will remain nameless) on TV and then rush out the next morning and buy stock because he told them too.

    Luckily, the un-named TV personality is also vehemently against 3x leveraged funds (for retail traders) as I am. I think he even used language “they should be banned.”

  22. Corey Rosenbloom Says:

    Terry,

    Exactly. I don’t want to come straight out and make the case that all leveraged ETFs will go to zero, but without rebalancing, indeed they all will over time. For the exact reason you stated – the percentage loss and gain function.

    The underlying moves happily all it wants but these leveraged funds waste away when they decline in value and can’t easily get back to their previous value.

  23. Corey Rosenbloom Says:

    Microcap,

    Great point! Thank you for sharing.

    The problem is that new traders are drawn to these like crazy.

    The fallacy is thinking you can win big long term with these. These are high-risk, (possible high return) intraday trading vehicles to “juice up” your returns if you’re right.

    If you’re wrong… well that’s another story.

  24. Corey Rosenbloom Says:

    ETF’d,

    You’re hitting on a strategy I’m testing privately – I won’t give the details, but it’s along those lines. Start with a pure dollar hedge but short certain 2x and 3x ETFs and so far the strategy tests out very well – almost too well (seems like free money) so I’m scratching my head and wondering if anyone else is seeing/thinking what I’m thinking.

  25. StockRake Says:

    One has to approach these etfs with the idea of just trading them with market/sector direction. They are far from investments, but trading vehicles with limited time horizons. Get the move of the market right or get out of these things. They will drain your account when you are incorrect.

  26. Chris Says:

    The main point of this article is correct…to get back to $100 would take a period of steady decline. But I’d like to point out that the same is true for Bull ETFs that people are expecting to be the next FAZ (such as FAS). They’ll need a period of steady gains to earn insane returns, so people jumping on the FAS bandwagon and holding expecting that now it’s the 3x Bull’s turn to break $100 have the EXACT same fallacy in their thinking. Today was a strong day, yes, but it can crash just as equally tomorrow. The fact of the matter is the 3x ETFs are made to be actively traded from day to day, they are not to hold. Don’t believe me? Read their respective prospectus.

  27. Anonymous Says:

    Not to state the completely obvious, but why didn’t anyone mention how much money you can make shorting these POS?

  28. Basque Says:

    FAZ is a “shortable” instrument so it can not be a systematically bad business. If holding FAZ were a systematically lossing bet then a short position in FAZ would be a systematically winning bet (Or short at a tima both FAZ and FAS would be a winning strategy)

    This, however, is not true. Non-linearity (gamma) in these leveraged instruments is essential to analyze its behavior (like analysis of options.) A linear analysis leads to erroneous conclusions.

    (I apologize for my horrid english)

  29. Terry Says:

    Sorry Corey for the math – but many are doing it and making incorrect assumptions – I hate to see guys get killed.. Many have unrealistic expectation of the FAZ. You can’t use any charting techniques on double or triple ETF’s. You have to chart the index and make a decision from there. The history is useless information – It has effects in it that the index does not. That goes for commodity ETF’s like USO as well since they have contango. The main buyers of oil (NYMEX) are not using ETF’s and don’t see that effect on their charts.

  30. ETF'd Says:

    Corey,

    If the short-pair trade becomes too obviously profitable (which it seems to be on triple-leveraged ETFs in particular), I could see them reinstating the ban on being able to short both sides. As they proliferate though, one could find other pairs of indices that tend to correlate strongly (either +’ly or -’ly) and short the bear of one and the bull of the other. Still, it’s not guaranteed profits – my backtesting suggests that it’s critical to distinguish choppy markets from trending markets and I’m working on a couple metrics to optimize the system. Great blog, and thanks for covering this topic! I got burned on these initially (hence the moniker), so now I’m off to get my revenge…

  31. Microcap Speculator Says:

    Let me throw a serious question to the more mathematically-inclined commenters: once the prices of a 3x bull and bear ETF have crossed, is it a mathematical certainty that the next time they cross (if they cross again) it will be at a lower price point? If not provide a scenario where the FAS and FAZ could cross at a higher price point.

  32. Bob G. Says:

    Some people have discovered here what I’ve found out from practical experience. I’m surprised it hasn’t been written about more. Shorting the opposite pairs (ultra and ultra-short) is like owning a money tree; however, there can be extreme volatility to ride out. For example, when SRS went from 90 to 270 in a couple of weeks back in October(thankfully I was’t short then). I’ve still been able to borrow shares to short, but only on select leveraged ETFs (shorted SRS a few months ago, but couldn’t borrow URE shares, & recently couldn’t borrow SRS). I think more people are catching wind of this and soon it will be almost impossible to borrow any leveraged ETF shares. Don’t tell too many people about this or the opportunity will be completely lost.

  33. Anonymous Says:

    faz follows RIFIN not XLF

  34. Scott Says:

    Rather then outright short and have to worry about margin, anyone able to backtest a purchase of near the money puts on both sides simultaneously or some other option strategy such as a call or put spread?

  35. Anonymous Says:

    Demand is still a factor here, as it is anywhere else. And the escalating volume in these WMDs is as important as their long-term unreliability. While a 1000% gain is unlikely in, say, a month, 250% is not unrealistic at all. (It’s in your chart, actually.) But as others have said, charting this stuff is as silly as playing them as lottery tickets. And their destructive volatility effects are more important than either.

  36. Lightbulb Says:

    I read everyday why leveraged funds are only good for day trading and holding them longer is asinine. Consider this…how did FAZ get to $110? Surely the underlying didn’t make a 1450% move did it? You saying people didn’t get it in the 30s/40s and held for a couple of months and let them go over 100? No question, they’re incredibly volatile and there are times when they don’t track the underlying well, but I’ll argue a case that you can buy and hold and benefit from their leverage. Don’t expect perfect correlation but don’t rule them out for that reason alone.

  37. Terry Says:

    lightbulb there are at least 1000 articles that are all correct on the internet. DO you understand rebalancing? Chart a one year chart of FAZ and FAS. Since they track – and they do – wouldn’t one be up. The losses from rebalancing can not be made up. How did FAZ get to 100, first the index had to drop not go up – and it did. Before you made your claim – did you look at the index? You can’t buy and hold either FAS or FAZ or any double ETF for a long term period. IF you still think that you are right maybe consider comparing one to it’s index.

  38. Terry Says:

    Not beat the dead horse but I put an example of a double ETF here – the index the fund and what it should be with the rebalancing effect.
    http://www.stockhouse.com/Bullboards/MessageDetail.aspx?s=HGU&t=LIST&m=26888570&l=0&pd=1&r=0

  39. Tom Cole Says:

    Few people really understand the risks involved with the 3x (and 2x) ETFs. It is a bit sad. I know a guy who invested pretty much his life savings in UYG (2x financials) in October. He was more or less wiped out. I do not even believe he realized that the fund he was in was 2x, or that it was not a viable long term investment vehicle. Why do we have day-trade-only ETFs anyway? Fat fees of course. But why are these ETFs allowed? They do nothing but encourage (demand, really) short term trading, and that should not be the goal of the exchanges (I'm naive, I know). I would assume that day traders are allowed to use 4x intra-day leverage on these funds (correct me if I'm wrong), which means that they can effectively (ineffectively?) achieve 12x leverage (intra-day). The crash of '29 was blamed in part on 10x margin. We learn nothing…

  40. Bob Says:

    XLF is the wrong index to compare FAZ to. It tracks the Russell 1000 Financial Index

  41. Quantum Fading » Blog Archive » Leveraged ETFs - Links and Resources Says:

    [...] One Day? Leveraged and Short ETFs – 3 Flaws You Should Know Explaining Inverse and Leveraged ETFs FAZ 3x Financial Bear Fund Crushed Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a [...]

  42. Dave444 Says:

    Shorting both isn't a hot idea – and thinking they track the underlying indices isn't true in the sense of price movement. I believe that they use swaps, options and futures to get the leverage – so do yourself a favor… plot FAS over FAZ – you can see where the overall trend is in the same direction. Now plot the VIX over those two. You get a sharp pop in the VIX, and then the longer term trend will be up for both, FAS and FAZ, but they will continue to criss-cross in the intermediate trend. That's what makes trading them tough – you need to figure out not only how the underlying instrument is – say RIFIN is moving AND where the volatility is – ie. watch the VIX. If your shorting both as RIFIN rises but the VIX takes off north, and you aren't paying attention to volatility at all – you'll still get burned, just in the opposite direction… at least that's how I see it. That's why they are only good plays for a day to a few days where you can get the volatility and movement of the underlying instrument correct. It's much easier to go bigger short/long in the underlying instrument, as you are basically playing options if you go with the leveraged funds…. and I think that the math part is worked out much better with options, so why not just do that if you want to leverage something.

    In the end, if there is a ton of volatility to the downside of the underlying instrument, you can make a bunch going long FAZ, if its a day by day walkdown, forget it.

  43. GonzoTrader Says:

    Its all about the percentages…. you get 3x move in the % of the RIF thats all….. its free leverage…..in your example today of the SPY day trade…. you can trade your method use the spy chart for you signal only buy and sell or short SSO and SDS… you get twice the bang for the same buck. IMO

  44. Corey Rosenbloom, CMT Says:

    That's a well-hidden secret – almost like free money. Shhh.

  45. Corey Rosenbloom, CMT Says:

    Exactly – and that's why I focus on the common SPY. Personally, I trade the @ES and @YM futures, but not everyone does so that's why I focus on deep analysis of the SPY. Knowing that, you can use a leveraged fund, an option, or a futures contract.

    Yes, these funds are designed for 'juicing' intraday moves – not 6-month (or even 6 week) holding periods.

  46. Corey Rosenbloom, CMT Says:

    I'm with you, Tom.

    These are devastating vehicles for new traders and those without edge/strategy. They can help professionals, but most pros have access to larger margin ratios than the general public has so they don't necessarily need to trade these funds.

  47. Corey Rosenbloom, CMT Says:

    My main point is that new traders don't take the time to learn the nuances or risks of these funds.

    I hope articles like this make them aware of the risks and considerations.

  48. Corey Rosenbloom, CMT Says:

    Again, this is a warning to new traders who think they can make a quick buck.

    Consider what happened if you bought at $110. In four days, you lost 50% very quickly.

    It takes a while for these prices to rise but only a week to crush them.

    And you know that new traders have the “Well, it can't go down any lower” mentality. Recipe for disaster.

  49. Corey Rosenbloom, CMT Says:

    That's a very good idea – I have not thought to do that.

    If anyone can point us to a similar study, please feel free to share.

  50. Corey Rosenbloom, CMT Says:

    Bob,

    That's kind of my 'hidden' point. I'm sure major funds or even intelligent smaller speculators are doing just that. It is like printing free money.

    Why the SEC hasn't stepped in already in is beyond me.

    Shhh.

  51. Corey Rosenbloom, CMT Says:

    Haha – love the moniker! Very creative.

    If that were to happen, one could short perhaps in a separate account.

  52. Corey Rosenbloom, CMT Says:

    Basque,

    No problem – from the data we have now, it seems the edge is shorting 3x and 2x funds and riding out the volatility as these funds – through percentage decay function – decline week by week.

  53. Corey Rosenbloom, CMT Says:

    Chris,

    Precisely – very well spoken.

    Now there are 2x commodity ETFs and 2x sector ETFs and more.

    It's going to happen to every single 2x and 3x fund unless changes are made.

  54. GonzoTrader Says:

    Thanks for the resp… a lot of good info here.

  55. Dave444 Says:

    Yeah, but its not 3X on FAZ or an exact percentage on any leveraged fund, because of the correlation to volatility – when the vix is low, you can expect 2.5%, when its high, it can be greater than 5% – which is what I was getting at below on another reason not to go long on them, unless you understand that. Day trading or a few days, great, but longer term – you have to read the VIX too. So for the argument of long term, just tracking the underlying index doesn't hold. RIFIN could start at anywhere on a chart, and FAZ could rise much faster provided the volatility is there.

  56. Dave444 Says:

    Yeah, but its not 3X on FAZ or an exact percentage on any leveraged fund, because of the correlation to volatility – when the vix is low, you can expect 2.5%, when its high, it can be greater than 5% – which is what I was getting at below on another reason not to go long on them, unless you understand that. Day trading or a few days, great, but longer term – you have to read the VIX too. So for the argument of long term, just tracking the underlying index doesn't hold. RIFIN could start at anywhere on a chart, and FAZ could rise much faster provided the volatility is there.

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  59. bernard12 Says:

    These ETFs are all established to crush your portfolio. Even the normal energy ones such as USO and UNG screw you over with contango. The 2-3x etfs are good for day trading and for playing periods of high volatility if you “happen” to know when those will be. I prefer the financials and real estate. Also, it is interesting to see if the arrival of the new small cap etfs will increase volume in small caps in general.

  60. albot Says:

    Can anyone point me towards a liquid, no-leverage, inverse Chinese (Xinhua, Shanghai Comp, Hong Kong) equity ETF? Thanks

  61. david young Says:

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