Financial writer Jason Kelly recently made a startling discovery about investor appetite for insanely risky ETFs.
Last Friday, he posted a satirical article called First 100x Leveraged ETFs. It made fun of the trend toward higher leverage among ETF products. He used the bogus symbols SOAR and SINK for the two fake ETFs mentioned, the former following the index at 100x and the latter following the inverse of the index at 100x.
Soon after he published the piece he was deluged with emails. Many people got the joke. But a full 65% expressed interest in some form or another in owning SOAR and SINK.
What’s even more unbelievable is that the description of the ETFs should have tipped off almost anyone that they were fake.
“These are intended for attentive traders only,” said Kelly Capital Chief Executive Officer Jason Kelly at the press conference following the launch party in New York City. “The extreme leverage employed will cause both funds to go bankrupt within the course of most trading days. However, those paying attention during the day will be able to manoeuvre in and out of the funds before they crash to zero.”
Kelly Capital will reset and relaunch the funds at the beginning of each trading day. The company is in talks with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) about the possibility of relaunching the funds after lunch should they go bust in the morning session, but the SEC is balking. SEC spokesperson Ben Meriwether remarked, “We recognise the right of investors to employ as much leverage needed to find fortune or ruin in a day, we just aren’t sure of the need to extend that right twice per day.”
Kelly thinks the SEC will come around to his firm’s way of thinking on the issue, but is happy for now that investors will have access to the funds at least once per day. “Investors these days aren’t content to wait years for returns on their investment. They want to know the outcome as quickly as possible, and at 100x leverage our products currently offer the fastest investment outcomes.”
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