Direxion Taking Aim At 130/30 ETFs

July 29, 2009

Direxion moves ahead with plans to come out with 130/30 ETF. 


On the heels of the market's first 130/30 exchanged-traded fund, another leveraged fund sponsor is moving forward with plans to offer a similar type of strategy.

In a new filing amending an old request that's more general in nature, Direxion Shares is requesting regulatory approval to launch its own 130/30 ETF.

The first such 130/30 ETF was the ProShares Credit Suisse 130/30 ETF (NYSEArca: CSM). It launched on July 14. As its name implies, the portfolio tries to outperform traditional long-only funds by using a combination of leverage and short-selling.

The 130/30 strategy is used by many active managers, both on the institutional as well as retail fund level. It involves pairing 130% exposure to stocks a portfolio manager thinks will outperform the market with 30% short exposure to stocks a portfolio manager thinks will trail the market.

The end portfolio retains 100% net exposure to the market, but aims to deliver alpha through smart stock-picking.

While ProShares gained first-to-market status for ETFs, there's actually another exchange-traded product that competes in the same market. The First Trust Enhanced 130/30 Index (NYSEArca: JFT) came out in May and shares a similar cost structure with the newer CSM.

Late last year, Direxion included 130/30 ETFs in a long list of possible new ETFs it would like to bring to market. (The original filing actually has a fairly extensive explanation of how the 130/30 process works. Interestingly, it also has a reference to ETFs that would provide up to 400% exposure, both inverse and leveraged, to underlying indexes. The most juice used up to this point has been 3x, or 300%, of a fund's benchmark.)

The amended filing, dated July 20, adds some more detail about swaps and other types of securities that can be used in 130/30 portfolios. It also has a bit more clarity about any such funds' creation and redemption process.

You can read the original filing here and the latest here.



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