Extreme Leverage ETFs Embraced By Market

December 26, 2008



In the face of massive market panic and the flight to safety among investors, some market participants are embracing risk at unprecedented levels. Direxion Funds launched a series of ETFs designed to deliver 300 percent and -300 percent of the daily return of their benchmark indexes, and follow the success of the ProShares ETFs, which provide 200 percent and -200 percent exposure to the market.

Three-hundred percent is a lot of leverage, particularly when volatility is as high as it has been in recent months, but investors have not shied away from the new ETFs. In their first week of trading, the Direxion ETFs attracted significant activity. On its first day on the market, the Large Cap Bear 3x Shares (NYSEArca: BGZ) traded just 13,000 shares. On day two, it traded 123,000 shares, and on day three, it traded 334,000 shares.

Its twin, the LargeCap Bull 3x Shares ETF (NYSEArca: BGU) did even better, trading 19,000 shares, 361,000 shares and 581,500 shares, respectively.

While still a far cry from the ProShares, which trade in tens of millions of shares, hitting half-a-million shares traded on just the third day on the market is a fairly positive sign for ETFs that seem pretty risky for the current market.

The other Direxion ETFs currently trading include the following:

  • Direxion Small Cap Bull 3x Shares (NYSEArca: TNA)
  • Direxion Energy Bull 3x Shares (NYSEArca: ERX)
  • Direxion Financial Bull 3x Shares (NYSEArca: FAS)
  • Direxion Small Cap Bear 3x Shares (NYSEArca: TZA)
  • Direxion Energy Bear 3x Shares (NYSEArca: ERY)
  • Direxion Financial Bear 3x Shares (NYSEArca: FAZ)

Each charges an expense ratio of 0.95 percent.

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