PODCAST: What is a “Leveraged” ETF?


Traditional ETFs: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2008/01/07/exchange-traded-funds-etfs/




Leveraged ETFs have received tremendous media attention and are proving to be extremely popular with both individual and institutional investors. There are hundreds of leveraged ETFs, covering virtually every asset class and industry sector. The majority are double-leveraged, but there’s a sizeable group of triple-leveraged ETFs.

For professional investors, leveraged ETFs are useful in statistical arbitrage, short-term tactical strategies, and for use as short-term hedges without the need to roll futures. For individual investors, leveraged ETFs are alluring because of the potential for higher returns.

Citation: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

Now, some physicians and Uninformed investors might assume that the leverage returns are generated on a continuous basis, so that if an underlying index is up 5% for a month, the double-leveraged ETF will be up 10% for the same month; if the index is up 10% for 6 months, the ETF will be up 20%, and so forth. That is absolutely not the case. The leverage is determined on a daily basis and the returns for any other period usually will not be double or triple the underlying index.

In order for the leveraged funds to achieve appropriate levels of assets so they can provide their implied leverage, they have to rebalance daily. In the case of an ETF providing long 2-times leveraged exposure, they would typically attain exposure to a notional set of assets equal to 2 times their NAV.

Example: An example would be an ETF that takes in 100 units in assets that does a swap with a counterparty to provide exposure to 200 units in performing assets. The rebalancing activity of these funds will almost always be in the same direction as the market.

In essence, a leveraged ETF is essentially marked to market every night. It starts with a clean slate the next day, almost as if the previous day had not existed. This process produces daily leverage results. However, over time, the compounding of this reset can potentially vary the performance of the fund versus its underlying benchmark. This can result in either greater or lesser degrees of final leverage over individual holding periods.

PODCAST: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/leveraged-etf.asp

RELATED: https://smartasset.com/investing/what-is-a-leveraged-etf

ASSESSMENT: Your comments and thoughts are appreciated.

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