The latest gold ETN turns to options for downside protection.
Credit Suisse on Tuesday launched its Credit Suisse Gold Shares Covered Call ETN (NasdaqGM: GLDI), a strategy that provides long exposure to physical gold coupled with an overlay of call options.
The ETN, comes with an annual expense ratio of 0.65 percent, will have notional exposure to the bullion ETF SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) while notionally selling monthly “out of the money” call options, the fund’s prospectus said.
The strategy is designed to enhance current cash flow through premiums on the sale of the call options. Those premiums will be received monthly in exchange for giving up any gains beyond 3 percent a month. In other words, the premiums would soften the blow if GLD were to face a sell-off, but that’s the extent of the fund’s downside protection.
There’s still growing uncertainty in the market on whether the 12-year-long gold rally has run its course, which makes Credit Suisse’s launch of GLDI timely, as the ETN represents a somewhat neutral view on gold.
ETNs are senior unsecured obligations; in this case, of Credit Suisse’s Nassau branch. Unlike ETFs, they have no tracking error, but, also unlike ETFs, they represent a credit risk. For example, if Credit Suisse ever faced bankruptcy, holders of GLDI would likely lose their entire investment.