Faculty Advisor

Marcel Blais

Abstract

"This paper describes our work in exploring trading strategies for the leveraged exchange-traded funds, Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X (FAS) and Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X (FAZ) over the first three quarters of 2009. Using minute-by-minute stock data we are able to verify the accuracy of these ETFs in regards to their target of the Russell 1000 Financial Index (RIFIN). We are then able to quantify the returns and risks involved with trading strategies that seek to exploit the ETFs objectives, specifically momentum trades, tracking-error discrepancy trades, and a combination of the two strategies we term “discount-and-up.” Bootstrap simulation techniques are employed to measure values at risk and conditional tail expectations over 30 day time horizons for each strategy. Lastly, we demonstrate the dangers of traditional buy-and-hold investing with regards to leveraged ETFs."

Publisher

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name

MS

Department

Mathematical Sciences

Project Type

Thesis

Date Accepted

2009-11-16

Accessibility

Unrestricted

Subjects

exchange-traded fund, ETF, leverage, FAS, FAZ, bootstrap

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