Inverse ETF Overview

Inverse ETFs are powerful and complex trading instruments. They allow traders to benefit from price declines in major ETFs. For example, if the SPDR S&P 500 fund (SPY) goes down 1% on one day, you should expect that the price of ProShares Short S&P 500 ETF (SH) goes up 1% the same day. Inverse ETFs can use leverage as well to magnify their returns. Thus, these inverse-leveraged ETFs need to be handled with care.

Keep in mind that inverse ETFs deliver the desired returns over prespecified periods only—usually one day. Thus, the stated multiple (e.g., - 2x) of the fund's underlying index only attempts to do so over one-day holding periods. Consequently, inverse ETFs can be inappropriate investment vehicles to hold if you have a significantly longer holding period in mind.

With 124 ETFs traded in the U.S. markets, Inverse ETFs gather total assets under management of $13.35B. The average expense ratio is 1.01%. Inverse ETFs can be found in the following asset classes:

  • Equity
  • Commodities
  • Alternatives
  • Fixed Income
  • Currency

The largest Inverse ETF is the ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury TBT with $2.03B in assets. In the last trailing year, the best performing Inverse ETF was the KOLD at 57.58%. The most-recent ETF launched in the Inverse space was the BMO REX MicroSectors FANG+ Index -3X Inverse Leveraged ETN FNGD in 01/22/18.


SOXSDirexion Daily Semiconductor Bear 3x Shares25.71%
BOSDB Base Metals Short ETN21.87%
RUSSDirexion Daily Russia Bear 3x Shares15.65%
YANGDirexion Daily FTSE China Bear 3X Shares14.59%
WDRWDirexion Daily Regional Banks Bear 3X Shares13.65%


DRIPDirexion Daily S&P Oil & Gas Exp. & Prod. Bear 3X Shares-36.84%
OILDProShares UltraPro 3x Short Crude Oil ETF-27.53%
ERYDirexion Daily Energy Bear 3X Shares-26.46%
GASXDirexion Daily Natural Gas Related Bear 3x Shares-26.32%
DBRTAxelaTrader 3x Inverse Brent Crude Oil ETN-24.77%

top creations

PSQProShares Short QQQ67.31
DWTVelocityShares 3x Inverse Crude Oil ETN60.27
SHProShares Short S&P50045.90
TBTProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury28.70
SVXYProShares Short VIX Short-Term Futures ETF19.75

top redemptions

DUSTDirexion Daily Gold Miners Index Bear 3x Shares-121.77
SDSProShares UltraShort S&P500-96.90
SQQQProShares UltraPro Short QQQ-52.74
TZADirexion Daily Small Cap Bear 3x Shares-34.20
TBFProShares Short 20+ Year Treasury-28.55


DRIPDirexion Daily S&P Oil & Gas Exp. & Prod. Bear 3X Shares154.33%
ERYDirexion Daily Energy Bear 3X Shares90.07%
JDSTDirexion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bear 3X Shares76.17%
GASXDirexion Daily Natural Gas Related Bear 3x Shares66.19%
WYDEProShares CDS Short North American HY Credit ETF48.39%


GDXSProshares Ultrashort Gold Miners-55.29%
USODUnited States 3x Short Oil Fund-52.06%
DDGProShares Short Oil & Gas-46.40%
EWVProShares UltraShort MSCI Japan-40.99%
WTIDUBS ETRACS - ProShares Daily 3x Inverse Crude ETN-28.06%

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