Now that their novelty has worn thin and traders have had an opportunity to experiment with various approaches to trading triple ETFs, these vehicles have become an integral part of the day trading scene, particularly on trend days.
Looking to capitalize on the appeal of these nuclear-tipped trading weapons, Direxion added six new triple ETFs last month. While interest in the new round of ETFs has so far been limited, I predict at least one of the triple ETF pairs has a bright future. My candidates for stardom are the pair of emerging markets ETFs: the 3x bull (EDC) and the -3x bear (EDZ). The reason is simply a lack of competition. At the moment, competition comes in the form of EEV the -2x UltraShort MSCI Emerging Markets ETF from ProShares. While EEV is a popular double inverse ETF, it lacks a companion +2x version for those who want a leveraged bullish play on emerging markets without having to short EEV.
It is harder to see the other new ETF pairs attracting the same attention that the emerging markets are likely to receive. Technology is a favorite investment theme and a source of considerable volatility, but the current ROM (2x) and REW (-2x) have always been second tier ETFs in terms of popularity, lagging well behind QLD and QID, the popular NASDAQ-100 ETFs. The new Direxion entries, TYH (3x) and TYP (-3x) clearly have their work cut out for them.
Last but not least are a pair of ETFs based on the MSCI EAFE index of developed markets and the popular EFA ETF that tracks this index of European, Australasian and Far East companies. The 3x bull (DZK) and the -3x bear (DPK) have a lot of appeal to me as a means by which to speculate or hedge in non-U.S. companies, but whether these funds will receive the same kind of attention as EFA remains to be seen.
For the record, Direxion has outlined their intention to expand the stable of triple ETFs to 32 in their current prospectus. The ETFs currently in the pipeline have a strong international (China, India, Latin America, BRIC) and sector (clean energy, real estate, homebuilders) flavor. The graphic below shows the triple ETFs currently available, with the recent additions circled in red.
These ETFs are not for the faint of heart and anyone who considers trading these might want to read my initial post on the subject to get a sense of some of the risks involved.